On that subject of email, here's one of the best techniques I've found for reducing email: I keep a "stack" listing (first names) of the assignments in the queue for me to look at, and I update that as I read and reply. That way, students can know BOTH whether or not I got their assignment AND whether or not they should have received emails from me. I originally started this because of the unreliability of email in general (every week it seems like somebody's email just vanishes into the ether or, more likely, into a spam folder) ... but it has also proved very useful in reducing emails from nervous students who want to ask if I got their assignment. I make an announcement about the stack every day in the class announcements and now, starting this semester, I can also do periodic Twitter updates. The stack itself is a GoogleDoc which students can bookmark and check any time they want. Just one of (many) strategies to reduce email without, uh, banning it...
Here's the piece about banning email from IHE that prompted me to share this (which I've done for years now... this might be the first public GoogleDoc I ever created ha ha)
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