Articles for Teachers
VIRTUAL SCHOOL COMMUNITIES
Digital Pen Pals
Many people never forget writing pen pal letters when they were young. Some people even become life-long friends with pen pals they first wrote to in elementary school.
Today, as communicating with people on the other side of the world is as simple as a click of a mouse, the art of writing pen pal letters should not become a lost teaching tool. On the contrary, today's technology can only enhance and improve the pen pal experience for your students.
Here are some tips to help you give your students an enriched pen pal experience:
1) Alternate between handwritten letters and emails.
2) Allow students to communicate with pen pals via instant messaging.
3) Have student create audio and/or video clips for their pen pals.
4) Have video conferences with your pen pal class.
5) Create projects that students and their pen pals can work on together via the internet.
6) Encourage your students to continue to write to their pen pals over the summer and in future years even when the leave your class.
Using technology to write pen pals in the 21st century will help teach our students how to better work within the global community around them. My class has been writing letters, emailing, and talking to many different classes from around the world. They are fascinated with the similarities and difference between them and their pen pals on the other side of the world. To get started visit People to People international at http://www.ptpi.org and get matched up with another class from almost anywhere in the world.
Lucas Kent is an experienced educator and author of 6 Steps to Success in Teaching with Technology which in now available on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com and many other online bookstores.
His website http://MrKent.Net - Teaching with Technology Made Simple is designed to help schools and educators implement technology effectively into their educational practices.
Feel free to visit the site and/or subscribe to our fantastic monthly newsletter at http://www.mrkent.net