Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ePals: Connecting Classes Globally

If you're a global teacher who's tried to connect your class with a class in another part of the world, you've probably come up against three big challenges. The first is finding another teacher who's as committed as you are to making an international connection work. The second is making sure you've got a suitable match in terms of grade level, language proficiency, and interests. And the third (and this can be the kicker) is developing a project that gives the class connection meaning and direction.

The website ePals has a great reputation for working with teachers to meet the first two challenges, offering great ways to find teachers and classes to connect with all over the world. Since making its own connection with National Geographic last year, ePals now has the third covered, too.

Now ePals offers fully developed standards-based projects with lesson plans, resources, and even a schedule for the emails between classes. So once you're connected with a class internationally, you've got something very worthwhile to work on together.

Project topics range from cultural studies to habitats to maps (a natural for National Geographic). You can search for a class on ePals and choose a project together, or choose a project and then search for a class on ePals. The site offers built-in translation of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean, and Spanish for classes that need it.

Great way to add a global dimension to your teaching. Find out more about getting started here.

And (did I mention?), it's free!

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