Pen Pals in the Digital Age
This is something I had previously blogged about on another site I write for, but the concept was brought up today during a session on blogs.
During a recent conversation with my Tech Director about the use of student e-mail, a thought struck me. If we’ve been teaching students the fine art of letter writing for the past 2 centuries to communicate with others over long distances, what’s stopping us from using the Internet to communicate in the same manner within our classrooms? I realize that many school districts have concerns over letting students use e-mail and until they come around, blogs are a great way to have Pen Pals in the 21st century!
Imagine sharing experiences, stories, and more with a class in another city, state, or country. Questions for students in foreign countries could be answered overnight, and information shared almost in real time. No worries about pictures being bent or letters being lost in the mail. And to top it all off; educators modeling appropriate use of communication tools, expanding students’ concepts of the world, and having an authentic reason to study far away places instead of just reading about them in the book. Talk with another teacher you know that teaches in another locale (or find one to converse with on the forum) and then do a search in the archive for online blog tools or just click on the blog category in the sidebar and you’ll find a list of free, easy to use, blogging tools and you can set up a blog for this Fall.