Sunday, December 8, 2013

What do you know about email?

For most of my students, email has existed their entire lives. So they don't generally think about how it all started. Even though I'm old enough to remember life before email, I wasn't sure how it started, or by whom, or when or where or why.

In fact, the other day a student's question sparked some interesting discussion about email: How do you spell it? A variety of spellings are used in different sources: email, e-mail, Email, E-mail, eMail.

This discussion focused on what we knew about email, and since there were inconsistent answers, this lead us to look into email's history.

Some of the material my students found:

An Infogram on the history of email (both links from Mashable):

Similar information in a different format:

This later version adds the years 2011 and 2012. Students could do the same: each student or each group can find a piece of information about email from 2012 and 2013 (and soon 2014), and then share their choices and vote for the one that will be added to the timeline.

Another timeline:

My students liked discussing the information on the link below, and are currently looking for more "fascinating facts" to add. #6 refers to the different spellings. This also has information about what the @ symbol is called in different languages - interesting imagery! Some of my students didn't know what it is called in English.

10 Fascinating facts about e-mail

How do you spell e-mail?

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