Educators need to realize that while young people today do not understand how to make effective use of all evolving technologies, the one thing young people really do understand is the effectiveness of 'instant communication'.
Attracted to e-tools that instantly link them with their peers, youth of today are embracing instant messaging via MSN; cell phones; text messaging; and visiting with friends 'in real time' on Facebook.
At the same time, teachers seem by and large to have embraced e-mail as their preferred form of electronic communication. Usually asynchronous, email is something young people seem to be shunning in favour of instant communication tools.
The next big thing may well be 'instant group communication'. With the exception of 'Blackberry' addicts, I think society at large has yet to latch onto this, but tools like Twitter for group texting, and Foonz for group cell phone calls, will soon be the norm rather than the cool cutting edge way to communicate... at least with young people!
Teachers, are you not tweating yet? Head on over to Twitter and get your free account. Maybe you can latch on to a technology before your students do! 'Follow' the actions of colleagues and friends and classrooms around the world. If you're short on network nodes, you can always find 'thecleversheep'!