Monday, January 22, 2018

What Do Students Need to Know About Email?

More and more I find myself helping students with email issues. They often can't find an email that a teacher sent, and when we check their inbox, it's filled with thousands of FB or Twitter notifications; it's no wonder they can't find that one lonely email from Mr. Smith! Not only are these students having issues managing their inboxes, but I'm also noticing that they don't understand that email is not a messaging platform. I receive emails from students with no subject, no capitalization, or sometimes no message at all - just an attachment (if I'm lucky). This often leaves me shaking my head and wondering what will happen when these kids leave high school and enter college or real-world situations where day to day business is often conducted via email.

For those who insist that email is a dying platform, take a look at these statistics. In 2017, 269 billion emails were sent and received each day (Statistia). Almost 4 billion individuals use email on a regular basis. The age group with largest potential of increased email use is Generation Z - today's teens and young adults (Statistia).

What does this mean? Plain and simple, our students need instruction about email. Check out the tips below for some essentials regarding email etiquette and management.

EMAIL ETIQUETTE - These essential guidelines are easy for students to remember and will help make emails more professional.

  • Include a Specific Subject
  • Add an Appropriate Greeting
  • Keep Message Brief and Polite
  • Proofread
  • Sign Off with Your Name (consider adding a signature to your email so it always appears on outgoing messages)

The Purdue OWL has some tips specifically for students regarding email etiquette.

EMAIL MANAGEMENT - These are tips I've found to be especially helpful in keeping my inbox organized and clutter free.

  • Take Action
    • Delete the Junk
    • Reply if Necessary
    • Archive if You May Need it Later
  • Unsubscribe to Unnecessary Notifications (social media, newsletters, retailers, etc.)
  • Use Gmail Labels and Filters