Introduction

external image 232626569_071667e9d7.jpg?v=0 Email has become as ubiquitous in our daily lives as the telephone. It is one of those tools that should be put to greater use in the classroom as an authentic application of communication skills that involves reading, writing, and collaboration. An email account is also required to sign up and use many of the tools now available on the web. Also, since LAUSD's student email system is now part of the Google Apps for Education program, it includes access to online word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, calendar, and wiki software. Students can access their work from anywhere there is an internet connection and a modern web browser. Let's begin to use these powerful tools!

Below are some resources to help further the use of email as a valuable tool in the classroom.
(photo credit: e-mail text + phone by Brian AG at Flickr)

General Information

How to Get Student Email Accounts for Your School

In order for students to get email accounts in LAUSD, there needs to be a subadminstrator for the school. The directions for establishing a subadministrator at your school can be found at LAUSD School Email.

Login

Students log into their LAUSD mymail account by visiting: http://mail.google.com/a/mymail.lausd.net This can also be found by visiting the LAUSD Start Page at http://www.lausd.net, selecting Students, then Student Email.

Help and How-To's

Go through the Help Pages on Google's Email for Apps page to find answers to any questions you might have about student email.

Spam

How to Reduce Spam
LAUSD's explanation of simple steps to reduce the amount of spam you receive, from ITD's support page. (Look for the Spam topic in the lower right of the page.)
Google App's Avoiding Spam help files.

Classroom Integration

Use these links to find ways to integrate student e-mail into your classroom curriculum.

Why Use Student E-Mail?

Some articles on Email in the Classroom
Email in the Classroom
From the Department of Education and Training in Western Australia - (newest article dated 2001)
One Teacher's Story: Using E-Mail as a Teaching Tool
An article in Edutopia of how using email as a teaching tool, a teacher begins to learn about many other tools available to use in the classroom. (8/5/2003)
Adopt or Adapt - Shaping Tech for the Classroom by Mark Prensky on Edutopia
Is using email 1)doing old things in new ways or 2) doing new things in new ways? How does using email benefit the student?

Projects

E-Pals Classroom Projects
A sample of the types of projects that are used in the E-Pals community
You've Got Mail
Classroom ideas for integrating e-mail into the curriculum. (dated 1998)
Global SchoolNet's Project Registry
A place to locate high quality collaborative projects. Join their listserv to receive information about upcoming projects.

Ask-an-Expert

Ask A+ Locator
A large list of sites where students and teachers can find experts to answer their questions.
LAUSD's Digital Library
The left-most link on the Digital Library will take you to author websites. Many of these websites have links where students can e-mail the authors.
Scholastic's Authors and Books
A place where you can participate in online discussion forums and e-mail authors about their works.
Ask Dr. Math
Ask a Geologist

Telementoring

The Virtual Mentor
An article from Edutopia about the benefits of student-to-professional mentoring
The International Telementor Program
Helps link students with business partners through projects

Beyond Email

In our constantly changing world, email isn't enough to enable communication and collaboration among students. It is useful as a way to create accounts and work in other areas of global connections. Fortunately, the LAUSD student email system includes Google Docs, Calendar, an iGoogle Start Page, and Sites for collaboration online.

Some articles/studies to contemplate:
Teens - Email is for Old People
What implications does the learning from this article have for us in the classroom?
Mobile Campus
Many university students never answer their dormitory phones, nor do they check their email regularly. What they do is check their phone text messages. Now there's a service that students can opt in that sets up a university text messaging service to their cell phone so they don't miss important announcements. Implications? We are moving from more traditional forms of communication like land line phones and email to what students are using: cell phones and texting. Of course, we should teach email to students. But what else do we need to be teaching?

Sites to Make Global Connections

The Global Education Collaborative
Join this social network to find other educators around the world who are interested in participating in project learning.
Projects by Jen
Would you like a way to connect your younger students to others around the world while contributing to a global project. Join this social network hosted by Jennifer Wagner to find projects in which you and your students can participate.
Classroom 2.0
Meet other teachers passionate about learning new things. An excellent place to find support and ask questions about working in collaborative groups.
Twitter
Join this network and find educators from around the world who are interested in classroom collaboration. If you're just getting started, explore TwitterPacks for ideas of who to follow.
I-SightEd - The Eyes and Ears of Education
A place to find telecommunication collaborative projects that use e-mail and audio/video to communicate globally. The registration is free.



Other Resources

LAUSD's Acceptable Use Policy forms
LAUSD's Instructional Technology Commission listserv
SlideShow Presentation for E-Pals Class (Requires Flash Player)