09 May 2016

Email Lessons - #100DayProject - Day 039

Image Source: Pixabay.com
I just finished reading an amazing post by the always thoughtful Pernille Ripp about taking time to teach her students how to email. I love that she recognized the need and stopped to teach her students a lesson that may not have been part of her curriculum or pre-planned lessons, but instead focused on a skill that would help them for the rest of their school year as well as the rest of their lives. How many of us see issues on a daily basis and think it isn't our "job" to take care of that problem and just sweep it under the rug? Pernille saw a concern and addressed it to help her student see the need for change.

Now I don't want to steal all her thunder, seriously people, go read the full post because it was awesome, but I do want to share a couple of parts that really hit home.
So this year, on the day back after spring break, we took 20 minutes to learn how to email better. It was so simple; students logged into their own email accounts and pulled up sent emails to teachers. A few were willing to share and I then shared a few myself that I had received. Some students laughed, others winced, but right away they started to see how their message could be read. How their intent could be misread and how in their endeavor to be efficient had forgotten what it meant to communicate well.
I love that she took 20 minutes, nothing too long, to go over this important lesson. It doesn't say in the post, but I bet Pernille was able to move back into her regularly scheduled lesson after this one. Sometimes we think teaching these life skills take too long and we're too rushed and yet, 20 minutes is all it took for her to help her students see the need to change their email ways.

I also love that some of her students recognized their awful email skills, or lack thereof. In fact, some even "winced" as they went over examples. We need to realize out students get more than they let on and yet, they don't always know how to change. We often think of our students as "Digital Natives" and yet, what does that even mean? Kids don't know how to use technology to learn and grow, they know how to use it to text or communicate (sometimes very poorly) with others. We need to realize our students need training and instruction on how to effectively use technology for learning.

Thanks Pernille for once again helping me realize the need to slowing down and taking a step backwards in order to help our students prepare for a sprint forward! If you aren't already following Pernille Ripp, you need to correct that mistake ASAP! You can follow her on Twitter at @PernilleRipp and on her awesome website PernilleSRipp.com.

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