SMSs, E-mails, Tweets, and other forms of electronic communications have become the most important means of communication of today’s generation. Being an educator you have to recognize this technology development and help students use this electronic medium effectively. In order to do this, you need to be well informed regarding Netiquette practices and implement them in your day to day tasks. If you are vigilant, it will be simple and possible to ensure that your students and people around you practice the same discipline. It is the educator’s responsibility to teach the students about acceptable behavior.
Whenever there is a case of Internet related crime such as a cyber bullying incident, the schools and educators are targeted. Though most of the Internet crimes happen outside of school, we are accountable for our students' behavior, be it right or wrong. The concern here is that many use the Internet but are not aware of Internet etiquette. If all online users are familiar with Internet etiquette or Netiquette and follow them correctly, Internet related crimes, such as cyber bullying, may not occur.
Before students are taught about Netiquette, it is we who have to master it and apply it thoroughly in all our communications. The way we structure our electronic communication will be reflected in the way others will communicate to us. Now that educators are sending academic updates via emails to students' parents regarding students' academic performance,it is essential for us to define and implement proper Netiquette practices which will set a good example for students.
Some general netiquette principles which we can adopt in all our electronic communications are as follows:
- Ensure that all your emails and electronic messages are clear and concise
- Be courteous and professional in all your communication, let your emails and messages represent your teaching profession
- Read your email and message three times and always perform a spell check before sending the email
- Let your messages start and end on a positive note
- Avoid using capital letters in your subject line and messages unless you want to emphasize any point in particular. When using capital letters, make use of asterisks (*), underscore (_) or write in quotes the sentence you want to be noticed
- Provide a meaningful subject heading to your message which will give an overview of the contents of the email
- Ensure that your email is confined or fits into a standard page screen size and recipients will not need to scroll down the page
- Use humor and sarcasm carefully. Be mindful of your words because they can easily be misinterpreted
- Never share passwords, usernames, and bank account information over chat messengers and emails