A couple of weeks ago, I received 10 e-mails in the two days. No I am not bragging. There was a problem with the server. This threw me for a loop. At one point, I was staring at my three devices to see which one would update first. I sometimes just stared at stared at my computer hoping it would work. Of course, the internet and all other programs worked. I am not here to complain about it, but to ponder how much things have changed.
When I began teaching 18 years ago, I was given this computer:
Actually, I was given 2 of these. I also had no phone in the room. If I needed call a parent, I had to walk to the bank of phones in the teacher’s lounge. It blows my mind that this did not seem like a problem. I had a system to deal with all of these issues.
Slowly the internet and e-mail made its way into my school. I remember one of friends saying “Why do they send us an e-mail? Can’t they just put in a memo and put in our boxes?”
Now I have a level of expectation of connectivity. My system is designed to have e-mail available at home, school and on the go. Two weeks ago, I had to develop a different system. I made phone calls, walked down the hall to talk to someone and reached out over Twitter.
My two revelations are
- Systems change drastically overtime. I know how I communicate with other teachers, administrators and others will look different in the next 20 years. I can already see some people viewing voicemail as dead. I also hear of people complain that e-mail is too much. I look forward seeing the next generation of communication.
- Always have more than one line of communication open. One of my genius bosses said today, “You have got to communicate multiple ways because not everyone wants to listen in the way you want to communicate.” I am going to call more, walk down the hall to talk and write a personal note. I will also explore other ways.
Don’t worry the server is fixed. I was responding to an e-mail, when I hit send I had 29 new ones.