It is always easier when trying something new to begin with the old. By adding and tweaking, a new product results! In years past I have developed keypal relationships for my students. One of the most successful was a relationship with a teacher in Australia that lasted for four or five years. She ultimately was transferred to a new school and older students so it came to an end. I did not pursue finding a replacement. There is no time like now to remedy that! Students are so engaged and motivated by writing to keypals. We exchanged gifts, traveling stuffed animals, and letters.
Web 2.0 skills for the 21st century are about communication. I can easily add some new tools to revitalize an old idea:
1. Locate a partner class using: http://www.epals.com/ (or another similar site)
2. Plan possible activities with our keypals:
Write an ongoing story (we start the story, they add to it, back and forth until it is finished) using a blog http://blogger.com
Share information and ideas verbally http://www.voxopop.com/
Create digital stories and podcasts to share from our class wiki
3. Teach our buddies about our home and learn about theirs:
Locate each on Google Earth http://earth.google.com/
Explore digital storytelling with Google Earth http://tbarrett.edublogs.org/2008/12/01/google-earth-is-our-paper-part-5-a-week- in-review/
Create an online presentation about our classroom, school, and the place we live:
I'm sure the list will grow and the partner teacher will have even more ideas! For now, I'll
begin trying to locate a keypal class for the year. And so the process begins... sorting it all out...