Digital natives may have abandoned email and moved to IM and DSN (instant messaging and digital social networking,) but many digital immigrants still prefer email.

I would guess most teachers in the classroom today are more comfortable with email than they are with instant messaging. Interestingly, I have observed that the “expectation of immediacy” for email responses has changed over time, however. As an instructional tech support person in the past I noticed that sometimes people will send an email and expect an IMMEDIATE response. In that case, they are actually using the wrong technology– they should use a phone or IM instead of email. Phones and IM are synchronous communication tools, email is asynchronous. But sometimes digital immigrants have expectations that asynchronous tools (like email) can and should produce immediate responses. Often they don’t and can’t, especially if the recipient is inundated with email already.

I posted about RSS by email options back in October 2005, but I am guessing there may be some blog readers that have joined us since then and have not heard about Feedblitz— and the other options that are available for helping email-enjoying digital immigrants digest RSS content with push-info technologies like email.

Here is a sample email that is sent by Feedblitz once you subscribe to track one or more feeds (I blocked out my email address):

feedblitz

I encourage administrators and teachers who are trying to help others understand RSS and it’s value to consider introducing teachers to Feedblitz or a similar RSS to email technology. Yes, RSS aggregators like bloglines are far more powerful and the tools we ultimately want teachers to know about and use– but I have found sharing Feedblitz with avid email users can help them embrace RSS and see it’s value more quickly, or do so when they otherwise might not.

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