Sunday, March 27, 2005

Email for schools

I remember when we bought a computer and installed email. Less than ten years ago. Until then, I had been working on a nation-wide committee where all the other members had fax and email. They were being as patient as possible with me, but it was obvious I was a nuisance. The quickest way to communicate a document to me was via fax at our local print shop. I had to type on the typewriter, then deliver the document to the print shop and pay for it to be sent. Now I’m on the other side of the ”fence,” and probably use email too easily and often. But it is difficult to send copies of an email to most of the members of a team and then have to post to the others. At work, it is so much easier to email material and yet even there, there are those who cannot or will not access their emails. I listened to a segment on talk-back radio recently about a school who had sent home a note about an incident involving a stranger in the girls’ toilets. Is that the best they could do, the radio host was asking? I had an appointment and missed the talkback. But the option is certainly there to use email to communicate with parents by email. Whether it would be appropriate in that particular case is up to the school. Would you email report cards? Could a parent email in information about a child’s absence from school? Could a parent book an interview with a teacher by email? ESchool news had put together a compilation of articles relating to email use by schools. …”As technology plays a greater role in education, it can also change the way those inside school buildings address key stakeholders on the outside. State officials, district board members, the local press, and students' parents are just a few of the groups that desire constant information and updates. And there is no faster or more inexpensive way to reach a vast number of individuals than via eMail or the web.
At eSchool News, we have seen how effective communication through eMail and the web takes weight off an educator's shoulders. Now, with the support of e-Mail Networks, we offer a collection of stories and features about this important issue.”
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