No one single tool will accomplish all the goals that I have for communicating with my students. – Danielle Stinson (link)
Wow. Did that one sentence resonate with me! My dilemma is not communication with students, but communication with a host of people: members, friends, volunteers, staff, donors, etc. Some want a phone call, some prefer a postcard. Others will just read it in the newsletter and put it on their calendars and be there. Some like an email reminder. A few will look it up on the website. And we do it all. In addition we make posters and flyers and send news releases to papers and local radio and TV.
And I still frequently hear the words that make me cringe:
I didn’t know about it.
On the one hand, I think Lisa should go ahead and use Facebook, because it is a sure(r) thing. On the other hand, at what point do we insist that people take responsibility for attending to their own information-gathering? If you are a responsible member of a learning group, shouldn’t you be expected to check the class wiki if that’s how the instructor gets information to his or her students?
Teachers a busy people. They can’t be expected to put it out there in every format for their students. If the teacher says, it’s all in this printed syllabus and that’s it… then they better not throw that syllabus out. And if the instructor says, all handouts will be on the class website, then the student should be responsible enough to go look there… or set up an RSS feed so the website notifies them when changes are made.
I have to be accomodating because I’m always trying to recruit and retain new folks… I’m willing to put it out there in a bunch of different formats. But teachers who have students that are signed up for their classes, I don’t think they should have to chase after them to be responsible for their learning.
Just my 2-cents.