The Professor as Instant Messenger

I regularly use computers in my classroom, and have long been a fan of the educational potential of online discussion groups. So I was completely taken aback a few months ago when a colleague informed me of something she had recently learned from her students: Teenagers no longer check their e-mail. I confirmed that in a subsequent conversation with a 16-year-old. “Yep,” he said. “It’s way too slow. I never…