21 Things - Basics

Valuable Communication Tools

Basics Gold


In one of the previous Quests you looked at some problems and potential dangers with email. Review your document periodically and add or delete things to keep it current and meaningful. Now let's look at the benefits of email. 

I Can Statement

  • utilize a chart, table or spreadsheet to display data and information


 1. What was life like before email existed? Historical accounts indicate that it was invented in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. The first email was sent between two computers sitting next to each other in the same room. Ray said he invented it, "Mostly because it seemed like a neat idea."

The first home/personal computer that could be used by anybody was launched in 1977 by Apple Computers. Were your parents/guardians/relatives alive before home computers? Ask an older relative or adult (older than 50) the following five questions and then return here and click on this survey link to enter the information.

1. How old was your parent or older relative when they used their first computer?

2. How old were you when you used your first computing device? (iPad, tablet, laptop, desktop, Internet-connected gaming device)?

3. How old were you when you first started using email? (texting is in the next question)

4. How old were you when you first started using texting or SMS?

5. What is your favorite digital communication tool?

6. What percent of your awake time in a day do you think you spend using digital communication tools (texting, calling, emailing, video conferencing)?

View the results of this survey, select this link and the password is 21things

3. Create a chart, table, or spreadsheet with the following headings (whole class together):

email, text messaging (SMS), phone (voice) calls, Twitter, or additional alternatives 

4. Below each heading, list at least five benefits of each type of communication.

5. Create a position statement backed by examples. This might look like,
"Five of us feel text messaging is the most important type of communication tool for the following reasons... It is better than the other choices because..."

Add this to your 21t4s roadmap as a bonus

Return to the Home Page 


MITECS   Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

3. Knowledge Constructor
a. Plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits
c. Curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions

Common Core Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7  Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.