Over the past year or so, I have noticed an increasing number of articles, and heard a higher volume of complaints, about the legal, logistical, and personal headaches associated with the use of e-mail.
Schools, in particular, are facing daunting challenges related to e-mail. Specifically, revised federal rules, updated in December 2006, require companies, government agencies, school districts, and other organizations that might be sued in federal court to have systems for retrieving electronic data such as e-mail correspondence if it is needed as evidence.
Digital Directions writer Michelle R. Davis takes an in-depth look at how schools are trying to meet the demands of this requirement and the new role of chief information officers in complying with federal archiving rules.
When we launched this magazine in June, we said our aim was to make each successive issue more useful than the last one. This cover story on e-mail is a step in that direction.
And so are the other articles and departments in this second issue of the magazine, which features stories and tips on managing new software systems for payroll, understanding how to use wikis effectively in education, upgrading ed. tech. professional-development programs for teachers, and more.
As we did when we launched Digital Directions, we are again including a reader review card to give you an opportunity to tell us how the magazine can better serve your needs. You can help influence what issues, problems, trends, or personalities are worth covering in future issues—indeed, a tip from a Digital Directions reader convinced us that the e-mail issue was a potential cover story. So please fill out the reader review card or go to www.edweek.org/go/dig2/ and tell us what you liked or did not like about this issue and what you would like to see in the future.
Digital Directions is also building a greater presence on the Web, and I encourage you to use the interactive features on the site.
For this issue, I conducted an audio interview with Kim A. Rice, the chief information officer of the 57,000-student Boston school system. It is a fascinating discussion, and one comment she makes toward the end of it is likely to resonate with most Digital Directions readers.
“Working in an environment where we really are trying to improve achievement and close the achievement gap for all students,” she says, “makes me just love what I do.”
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2007 edition of Digital Directions as E-Mail Overload