Saturday, February 23, 2013
For project number ten we were assigned to find a tool that we have not been introduced to but can use in our ideal teaching situation. I began researching many ideas, but came across ePals. This website has wonderful resources and tools for teachers all across the Earth to use a share. The starting point of the website was to join classrooms and allow them to become ePals. The system is similar to pen pals, but a lot quicker. When I was in second grade, we had a pen pal project with a class in Indiana. I remember writing letters back and forth to them and always looking forward to my letters from my pen pal. This was one of my most vivid and favorite memories from elementary school. At the end of the year we finally got to meet our pen pals. One of the things I remembered most was it taking a couple of weeks before we would get a response back because we sent out letters through "snail mail." Through this system the students can exchange "letters" through the internet.
EPals goes beyond exchanging correspondence among students and teachers, by providing projects that encourage teamwork, digital literacy skills, higher-level thinking and communication. EPals provides teachers with resources for projects engaging the students in using technology. EPals has had the ability to add numerous resources for teachers through partnering with the Smithsonian Institute, National Geographic, and Cobblestone and Cricket. A few of the resources available to students include Common Core: Collaborative projects, News Now: Sharing Current Events with Students Around the World, in2book Clubhouse: Exploring and Sharing Books, Global Citizens: Teaming up to Make An Impact, Science Center: Time to Explore, Smithsonian on EPals: Visiting the Museums without Leaving the Classroom, and The Writing Center: Activities to Spark the Imagination. These resources are available to students free of charge. Teachers can also Join For Free. This is a wonderful resources for teachers to use in the classroom. I look forward to using this tool in my classroom, no matter what grade I a teaching.