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April 23, 2007

Email is Antiquated

Quick, define the term "Snail Mail." If you answered "US ground Mail." You are wrong. The answer is "email."

The generation of gamers in schools and hitting the workforce are calling email…the new snail mail. In fact, a focus group of gamers defined email as “something you use to talk to ‘old people,’ institutions, or to send complex instructions to large groups.”

True that…75% of online teens — or about two-thirds of all teenagers — use instant messaging, compared to 42% of online adults and of the teens that use IM, 48% say they exchange IMs at least once every day.

In fact, students at Bloomsburg University, Virginia Tech and other colleges and universities don’t want emergency messages provided via email…too slow…they want text messages or calls to their cell phones.

Text messaging or Short Message Service (SMS) as it is sometimes called is becoming increasingly popular among the gamer generation. It is particularly popular in Asia and Europe. With over 78 billion text message sent every day in the United Kingdom. In the United States which is behind the rest of the world in text messaging, almost two out of every three cell phone subscribers between the ages of 18 and 27 use text messaging. This is in contrast to the over 60 set where only 7 percent of cell phone subscribers send text messages.

News services are also getting in on the text messaging craze. Gannett, the publisher of USA Today and other print-based media makes it possible for readers to get information such as weather reports, stock quotes and flight information by sending a certain text message contained in the paper.

I use Orbitz, the online travel site, which calls me cell phone with flight information, delays, changed gates, anything that may impact my travel plans. Some doctors are using instant messaging to contact patients to remind them to take their prescription medications.

So, does your training program encompass any “texting” or instant messaging functionality? Does your performance support system have a link to automatic text or voice mail messaging?  If not, maybe you should re-think some of your training tools. Perhaps text messaging isn’t just for teenagers any more.

Karl Kapp is the Assistant Director of Bloomsburg University’s Institute for Interactive TechnologiesLogoggg_2 and a professor of instructional technology. See his own blog, Kapp Notes for information on the convergence of learning and technology. He is the author of the book Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning.   


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Scott Fischer

Our local school system uses text messaging to alert parents of weather related school delays and closures. This info is pushed to wireless phones instantly without the need for recipients to access a workstation and login. It's just the info I need at just the time I need it. Not several hours later when I can access my email.

In times of campus emergencies, having a list of student wireless numbers pre-registered for quick dissemination could be a vital lifesaving measure.

The possibilities for training could be that equipment could identify the current operator (through a login id) and text message that person (or maintenance personnel) with information concerning safe operations, malfunctions, or other pertinent information as needed.

Karl Kapp


You bring up a good point about the use of texting for weather, I subscribe via a web site to a local weather update service that gives me text messages for severe weather, the technology exists to do it for other emergencies as well. We need to leverage the technologies for better, faster communications and I think we need to look to the kids to see how they are doing it since they are always on the edge of communications technologies...hey in my day we were always on the land land phone, now they are all texting.


Beautiful minds

that explains the popularity of the sms sites in India aswell.. Some Mobile service Providers eve offer free sms offers to students connection. Ad that would be an instant hit here.


To get Bulk SMS and Short Code Services in over 182 countries worldwide visit http://sms.globalbulksms.com/ & http://globalwebsms.com/

Bulk SMS

To get Bulk SMS and Short Code Services in over 182 countries worldwide visit http://sms.globalbulksms.com/ & http://globalwebsms.com/

$unil jain

Hi :)
I have found a lsit of 100 sites to send free sms :)
hope this helps you


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