Showing posts with label penpals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label penpals. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

PenPal News - Connecting Classes to Discuss News

PenPal News is a neat service that I learned about from David Kapuler. As the name implies, PenPal News connects classrooms across the U.S. and the world to create electronic PenPal relationships. But rather than just connecting classes, PenPal News connects classes to discuss current events. To help students understand the topics that they're discussing with their penpals, PenPal News provides short video introductions and articles about each topic.

PenPal News is currently connecting classrooms in the United States to discuss issues related to the Presidential Election. Next semester PenPal News will connect classrooms internationally to discuss world events.

The video below is from the current PenPal News curriculum on election issues.

Government from PenPal News on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
What I like about PenPal News is that it provides lessons that students have in common before they start writing. Even though the students will watch the same videos and read the same articles through the process middle school and high school students may be able to learn a bit about how personal background and local culture can influence interpretation of events.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

United Classrooms - Connect Your Classroom With the World

United Classrooms is a service connecting classrooms across the world. The service allows teachers to create classroom profile pages. On their classroom profile pages teachers can post assignments, projects, messages for students, and announcements for parents and students. Teachers can monitor and manage all of the communications between students on the classroom profile page.

United Classrooms allows teachers to share their classroom profile pages with the world. Teachers can search for other classrooms and connect with them. When classrooms are connected students can post messages for each other on the classroom profile pages.

Applications for Education
Using United Classrooms could be a good way for teachers to connect their classrooms to work on collaborative projects. On a smaller scale you could just connect your classrooms to create virtual penpal relationships. And if you don't connect your classroom to another you could use United Classrooms just as a way to share classroom news with the parents of your students.

United Classrooms from United Classrooms on Vimeo.