Monday, November 28, 2011
Retrotech: Like Email . . . but On Paper.
I have decided I hate email. Email is no longer e-mail but e-everything: memos, announcements, advertisements, chit-chat, rants and raves, and a plethora of other junk I would rather not deal with. So, asking students to "email me" is rather like asking them to add their work onto a pile of other things I would rather not deal with and that, therefore, might get lost.
I decided to go retro-tech. I bought a pack of bright pink index cards. Now, when a student has an issue that does not require my immediate attention (such as double-checking a grade or re-reading a blog entry or an "off topic" question) they grab a pink card and put their name on it with the relevant information and hand it to me. When I have a chance (in class or at home) I go through the stack and respond as needed.
I must admit that I felt immediately less stressed about checking my email for student requests and the students also felt that they did not have to "follow up" every few minutes to see if I had checked my email. The card was in the "pink stack" and they knew that I would get to it.
So, back to my motto: The right tool for the task and the teacher. Like many of our students I may be "over" email as a useful communication tool (for my class especially) and sometimes, going lo-tech for what should be a simple task is the best.
Posted by C. Jason Smith