February 21, 2010
ePals and World Wide Connection
With today's technology surge, students need to have the opportunity to experience and use as many tools that are available to them. One tech-tool that hasn't been available in our student's school setting is email. Although commonly used outside of the school day by students, email use was not considered necessary in the student's academic day. This school of thought restricted learning opportunities in my classroom.
Then came along ePals ( www.epals.com). After researching the format of a monitored email system, I was given the chance to introduce ePals. Let the learning expand!
6th grade students in two of my classes have been given an ePal account after getting parent permission.
Presently, students are using it to coordinate research and connect with sources while completeing research units.
Students competing in National History Day have been using ePAls the longest. The ability to coordinate group work and information between class time has been a plus to partners. They have also been able to send emails to direct sources, receiving vital information and materials.
Social Studies students are currently sharing cultural and geographical information with students in Japan. ePals coordinates a penpal network using email to connect students around the world. Students have been sharing messages, reports, pictures and videos with their epal.
Technology can open so many windows in our classrooms-let the breeze blow in!