Web 2.0 and email

The speed at which Web 2.0 technologies and services are changing the way young people communicate continues to gather pace. I spent the beginning of the week at a conference of university website managers and Web development staff. One of the speakers, Alison Wildish, from Edge Hill University, had some fascinating stats about students’ communication habits gained from some surveys she had carried out at the university.

Of the first year students who started last autumn, 98% had already been active in the blogosphere and social networking media space (MySpace, Facebook etc.). They had a strong preference for Instant Messaging over the use of e-mail for basic communication. Indeed, Alison revealed that only 25% of these new students had made any use at all of the student email account provided for them by the university. Obviously, this has made life a little difficult for academics and support staff wishing to communicate with the students. I’d have thought they would be grateful.


2 Responses to “Web 2.0 and email”

  1. Raza Rizvi Says:

    Perhaps universities need to realise that they were being forward looking by providing the accounts in days gone by, but now that students enter academia with their own accounts the universities need to allow them to forward their student accounts to Hotmail, Gmail, or wherever.

    As for IM, multi-system clients like GAIM/PIDGIN could give staff the chance to communicate (while logging for security) to relay results etc. Perhaps it is time for things like Marratech to become the norm for replacing those tutorials… you can then join in from the bed rather than having to get up on a cold morning for a rush across the quadrangle 🙂


  2. Alan Carter-Davies Says:

    I did an arts degree. In my humble experience the last thing arts academics want to do is contact students – seem to remember tracking ’em down in the pub mostly. I guess that there were proper grown up lecturers at the seminar you attended 🙂

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