Forming relationships on the Internet through various means of communication is a growing trend in cyberspace. The Internet is a medium that allows people to converse and express thoughts, feelings, viewpoints, and information posting messages electronically for others to view (Pankoke-Babatz & Jeffrey, 2002). Education has been taking advantage of these electronic communication mediums to teach content areas, help teachers and students form relationships, and serve as a vehicle of dialogue between teachers, parents, and students (Forceir & Descy, 2005; Roblyer, 2006). Although electronic communications in education grow and proliferate, the rules of engagement must be maintained to prevent miscommunication and online traffic and noise (Kallos, 2006). This article discusses the importance of upholding netiquette conventions among its users in education because without adhering to certain guidelines and protocols, electronic forms of communication can deter the teaching and learning processes.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Asynchronous: Asynchronous electronic communications do not require real-time interaction. In other words, the sender and receiver do not have to be online concurrently to interact.
Spamming: Spamming is the practice of sending repeated pieces of mail to a wide-variety of newsgroups, listservs, and/or e-mail addresses. Spamming is generally unwanted mail that does not pertain to the individuals receiving the messages.
Netiquette: A term that comprises the combination of two words—network etiquette. Netiquette encompasses proper protocol or manners when making use of the Internet and in particular with electronic communications.
Flaming: Flaming is a public personal attack that has been made to someone. If a simple, rude comment is made to a group, the message could incite a flame war.
Tech Etiquette: Tech etiquette involves the proper use of digital technologies such as laptops, notebooks, portable digital assistants, cell phones, MP3 players, and so forth. There are guidelines by which users of these technologies must follow to avoid being considered rude, remiss, impassive, and unproductive.
Synchronous: Synchronous electronic communications require real-time interface in that both the sender and receiver are expected to interact simultaneously.
Electronic Communications: Communication mediums that are electronic in form. There are many different types of electronic communication tools such as e-mail, listservs, Web logs, chat, and so forth.