For the past 15 years, research from the Pew Research Center has shown that email is the top work-related technology tool used by adults in the U.S. yet many adults have difficulty following email etiquette guidelines.
Children who learn appropriate email etiquette develop confidence in their collaboration skills and are better prepared to communicate effectively when they enter the business world.
Here are five crucial email etiquette rules that even young children can routinely practice:
1. Use correct spelling and punctuation to make emails easier to read and create a professional appearance. (ZooBuh’s built-in spell check feature makes it easy for younger children to identify misspelled words.)
2. Utilize appropriate formatting such as emoticons and personalized fonts for informal emails to friends and grandparents but simple fonts with only standard colors for emails to teachers or businesses.
3. Write a concise subject line to make sure the email is read by the recipient. The ability to compose a subject line that succinctly describes the content of the email is a valuable reading comprehension skill as well.
4. Be cautious when sending personal information via email. This includes addresses, phone numbers, bank account information and even school or church details. (The parental controls in ZooBuh can be set to automatically check for these items.)
5. Include a polite greeting and a sincere closing with each email. This ensures that despite its potential for impersonal use, each email can remain a valuable communication tool.
Learning to use email effectively is a 21st century skill that is crucial for a child’s future success and with practice, acceptable email etiquette will become automatic.