Monday, November 19, 2012

Epals -- A Global Community where learners connect

EPals is one of the world's largest networks of K-12 classrooms. This system provides a safe and project-based platform for teachers and students to learn by connecting with other classrooms around the globe.

EPals allows teachers flexibility to design and launch their own ideas and curriculum at any time and to any extent. It fosters meaningful connections with teachers and students in other schools, states, or countries.

There are some ways to facilitate collaboration through ePals Global Community: sharing projects, writing emails, accessing content and lesson plans, both teachers and students could enhance their learning ability and technology skills on this network. Beyond that, this network is a great way to learn about diverse cultures and research global issues at the same time. ISOLVE: Global Peer Action Project is an interesting project which seeks to empower students across the world as they offer solutions to real, day-to-day problems encountered by the world's youth. Six graders from different countries would be required to come up with their problems, then they need to try to solve other's proposed issues. Many online tools would be used in the progress: Email, Skype, Blog and Wiki...The reasons I love this project are it enables students to think things out for themselves, and express their opinions in logical and organized ways. Students would be encouraged to learn about various kinds of lives and societies of other countries, it could help them have global perspectives.

The other project I explored is Collaborative Detective Story which is a typical create writing project. Students would decide how their own story goes on through brainstorms, and native speakers of that language would help make any grammatical and spelling corrections needed. Students would take advantages from that project to enhance communicating and writing skills, and be more creative.

Moreover, ePals provides interesting learning centers for users which include fun activities, discussions and games, such as in2books Clubhouse and News Now. In2books Clubhouse is a reading community in which students can share and discuss their favorite books, then choose their next reading. News Now provides opportunities  for students to write and report news releases all by themselves, students can participant into news reporting in their favorite areas covered world news, US news, sports, travel, and lifestyle. I am pleased to implement in2books Clubhouse in my teaching, students would be asked to join into it in order to carry out their after-school reading and write short reflections. Students should finish reading two books every month, one book they can choose from their favorites, and one book should be assigned by teacher. They can take part into the discussion of books online, and need to introduce the books or narrate the stories they have read in class. Through that  students could exercise reading, writing, and oral express skills.

1 comment:

  1. You have discovered some really fascinating projects on ePals. I hope you get to try them out with your own classes sometime.