Lesson Four: introduction to e-mail

  1. note: There were no web pages used in this lesson
  2. We used printed handouts (see the pictures: one, two, three, four)
  3. setting up mail
  4. preparation: before class, send each student an e-mail message
  5. getting new mail
  6. Passwords: how to be better prepared
  7. Sending mail to other students

First, the students were told how to turn on the computer and open Netscape (from the Start button; we don't have shortcuts to Netscape on the screen).

A handout about e-mail was passed out to each student. The single sheet was printed on both sides with the four pictures (see the pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4).

The students also recieved a list with the names, e-mail addresses and POP3 User Names of each student in the class.

We proceeded through the setup instructions, opening Mail and News Preferences from the options menu. Some students were typing in my information (name, address) instead of their own.

IMPORTANT: Make sure the students do not change their mail folder information. Depending on the setup of their individual computer, the folder setup could be different.

The setup necessitated a lot of running around the room on my part to keep everything running smoothly.

Before class, I'd sent each student a simple message saying "Hello (name), this is Bill. How are you today?" After they'd set up Netscape with their account information, they were told to hit the "get new mail" button. (I drew a picture of it on the whiteboard.) The dialog box opens up asking for their passwords. A few students thought there was something wrong when their passwords came out as a string of astrixes (***) rather than letters or numbers. It would have been better had I told them about this beforehand. None of the students forgot their passwords, mainly because we had told them to request passwords based on the same information (e.g., "father's initials and the last two numbers of your telephone number" or something like that will ensure that if students forget, they can be reminded of the formula to help them remember the password quickly).

After they'd read the message I'd sent, I asked them to send replies. They were told to send simple, short replies, and hit the "send" button

To close the class, students were shown which button was for new mail. They were told to look at the list of names, and send an e-mail message to the student whose name appeared after theirs on the list.

At the end of the lesson, they were told to erase their POP3 name and e-mail address from the Mail and News Preferences.

This summary is misleading in that the class appears to have been an orderly, lockstep lesson. In fact, all of the students were at different places in the sequence at different times, at different paces. For me, it was a busy time, but afforded opportunities to talk with each student individually. If you have large classes, I'd strongly recommend either having teaching assistants or using handouts and a lockstep method.

The next class will be a review, and there are web pages for the review.

(c) Bill Pellowe
All rights reserved.