Communication Programs

Globe IconE-mail Programs

When the first E-mail program was written it allowed computer users to send text messages to each other. E-mail is short for electronic mail.

In many cases E-mail has taken over from the traditional posting system which is now referred to as snailmail because it is regarded as being much slower than E-mail which can be sent, and more or less, instantaneously appear in a person’s mail box.

Modern E-mail can be used to communicate a lot more than simple text. All sorts of multimedia can be added to E-mail or attached as they say in the E-mail world. You can attach pictures, video, audio and many other file types such as word documents, spreadsheets, database files and hyperlinks.

Instant Messaging (Chat) Programs

Another way that communication can take place is by the use of a ‘real time’ communication program. Real time means that the conversation takes place when all of people who wish to talk are present at the same time. You can think of instant messaging as being similar to a telephone call. In fact, some instant messaging programs allow users to attach headphones and a microphone so that the users can talk normally as if they were in the same room.

Social Networking Software

Another popular way for carrying out communication using computers is social networking. There are many different types of social networking program but the basic idea is to let people get together on topics that interest them and to share, collaborate and interact with contacts from all around the world. Examples of social networking include weblogs (Blogger), social community sites (FaceBook) and and digital sharing sites (YouTube).


E-mail Exercise

Task 1 – Revise

Use this link to the BBC BiteSize website and review the notes on E-mail.

Task 2 – Activity

Use this link to the BBC BiteSize website and watch the short interactive video on E-mail.

Task 3 – Test

Use this link to the BBC BiteSize website and have a go at the Test.


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