It Works Both Ways

I was in a meeting today, talking about communication strategies. We were to identify our audience and then discuss their behaviors and beliefs. We got to discussing how students don't often pay attention to email. They are off on Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram doodling around. "We need to communicate to the students that the only way they are going to get this important information is through checking their email. Email is important. They must use it. We must make it explicit in our communications with them that this is the only way they are going to get this important information."

I'm all for being explicit. At the same time, I couldn't help but think...why don't we convey to faculty and staff that...maybe...if they truly want to communicate with students, they go and meet them where they are at? This isn't a one-way street. We can decree email is the ultimate method of communication all we want, but that doesn't mean they are going to use it. (Heck, some of us don't even use it!)

This, I thought, is a perfect opportunity for professional development for faculty or staff. A perfect opportunity to broaden our horizons. Maybe this would endear faculty to students when students see a willingness to find more avenues to interact or communicate.

This all takes time. I understand. Faculty and staff are often hard-pressed for that. But, we live in a time where people learn in a variety of ways and through different modes. Any effort we can make to meet our students in the middle will be ten times more effective than forcing them down a one-way street. 

What ways do you connect with your students?