Where do we teach email?

You know how somedays you look through your PLN feeds and you can’t find anything really interesting? That was yesterday for me…but then there was today….

Here’s one….

Google Embeds Engineers as Professors

A great article on how different tech companies are taking different approaches to get minority students at all levels more involved in tech related fields. Google’s approach is interesting….taking some of their engineers and using them as professors…is Google trying to tell us something about the professors that teach these courses? Is what is being taught not what tech companies are looking for?

Maybe…..but then I started reading this article and I can’t help but be frustrated by what is being taught at a university level that should be being taught in elementary through high school.

Let’s start with this:

They taught introductory courses, but they also trained students on everything from how to send a professional email to how to make it through a software engineering job interview, which can involve a lot of time solving coding questions at a white board.

Two questions for you to ponder:

email1. Where are we teaching students to “send a professional email“? Isn’t this a skill that can be taught? Should be taught starting in elementary school? Our society today is an email society….so why is there no where in any school curriculum a place where email writing (for a variety of purposes and audiences) is being taught to students? What does this need to REPLACE in our writing curriculum?

2. Solving questions on a white board and being able to talk through the process with others. Do we have students talk through the process of solving their problems? “Please make sure you show your work” is not the same as “Can you please solve this problem for us and explain what you are doing as you do it…what are you thinking, where might you get stuck…what do you do when you do get stuck?

Two questions I’m asking myself today. Actually the first question I have been asking schools lately. Everyone agrees we should be teaching students to send emails, to write emails for a variety of audiences but I have not found a school that is REPLACING this type of writing in their curriculum. It’s not even replacing the skill really…it’s changing the medium. Write a letter to mom and dad or write an email to mom and dad. In email you don’t indent, in email you have a subject line that is important, you don’t have that on a paper letter.

We need to start REPLACING, changing out medium for the new…or then again maybe not…as they’ll learn how to do this in university….if they happen to go to a school with a professor from Google.