Panning for Nuggets

“Another disadvantage of email is the loss of non-verbal and social context clues. The email writer should therefore be careful and clear in his/her message to avoid ambiguity and unwanted consequences. One should even be careful not to go too far in his/her jokes as illustrated by the example of the University of Maryland Journalism professor Willie Schatz reported by Hannon (2001). Professor Schatz wrote in an email to his students that because of his birthday there will be no classes the following day. Even though he added that the president of the University himself signed on it and has declared it a day off for all campus, half of his students took it seriously and did not show up the next day! However, it should be noted that this shortcoming is common to several other class communication tools such as textbooks and lecture notes. In addition, this depersonalisation of email may be useful to some students. For example a student who is angry with his instructor may prefer email to face-to-face contact to cover up his anger.”

This nugget actually sums up my whole purpose of suggesting video email over email. Because email is nonverbal, it is easy to create the confusion or misunderstanding between how people write their message and how others people interpret it. Just like the example above, it is very common misunderstand with email or any other nonverbal message if the writers do not indicate clearly what they try to tell. However, with video email, we can eliminate this misunderstanding by body language or social context uses.

“I think we need to ensure that the importance of personal and intimate communication, which has always been important to us as a species, is not lost during this transition. While our communication tools may change how and where we connect with our students, we must remember that our value as educators lies not in what we know, but in the relationships we form with our students.”

This nugget supports for my first nugget as the educators’ value must lie on the relationship they form with their students; video email can definitely help them to achieve their value. By making students more engaging in the class and newsletter update, the invisible wall between educators and students is brought down somehow which will eventually improve their relationship with each other. Communication is always the best thing to get two people closer and help to clear unnecessary misunderstandings. Thus, I think video email is the best choice to fulfill both purpose of communication among educators and students.

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