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THINK Before Hitting Send

In a recent post on a "Paperless Society," I stumbled upon The Paperless Student's blog at the University of Washington. The student writes, "Here’s something they haven’t taught me in school, but should: How to properly reply to an email message" and later mentions, "Perhaps this should be included in today’s English classes just as keyboarding was the big thing back in the mid- to late-1900’s."

So…how and when are students supposed to learn email protocol?  You have to admit, so much time is spent informing students about the values and dangers of the Internet (which is a good thing). But I wonder how adept are our young people in regards to email. I went right to the source(s) to find out and posed this question to some teenagers, "Have you ever sent out an email, YOU WISHED YOU'D NEVER SENT?" And after reading through the responses I received, I quickly realized how little is known (or was forgotten) in the way of email netiquette.  

But all is not lost and it's never to late to freshen up on some email protocols; you or your students can take this online netiquette quiz or visit the netmanners blog.  And if forwarded chain letters bug you, here's another 'no-no', "Now, just because someone sent you an e-mail with other's e-mail addresses visible doesn't mean you just click forward and continue to expose those addresses. Even if you don't know those folks, chances are they do not want their email address broadcasted further. Would you? Do them a favor, even if their "friends" neglected to, and remove any visible e-mail addresses before you forward the joke on to those you know." (via Judith Kallos@netmanners blog and author of E-mail Etiquette 101)

-Amy Bowllan