Sunday, April 7, 2013

ePals - Connection to the world

     While exploring the ePals website I was extremely impressed with the various opportunities provided to teachers and students to connect globally with other language learners.  The first feature that caught my attention was being able to connect with other classes around the country and the WORLD.  This is something that I have always wanted to do with my students but I was unaware of how to do this.  I did not even know where to start looking for other classes to connect with and ePals has made this extremely easy.  You can search by age group, language and even country.  My school is currently planning a trip to Puerto Rico with our students next year and this would be a great way to expose them to Puerto Rican culture before going on the trip.  Students would be able to get a Puerto Rican pen pal and not only practice their Spanish but also learn more about their culture.  It would be interesting to do a collaborative project in which students must evaluate their own culture as well as their pen pal's culture.  This would show students another person's perspective as well as any stereotypes they might have.
     Another great feature that the website has is the "Join a Project" option.  This is where teachers can post a specific project with details so that I can determine if it is something I want to participate in or not.  There were a lot of projects listed, ones that could be used for other classes such as Global Studies or a Humanities class.  One specific project that I would be interested in further exploring is a class from the UK that is learning Spanish and is looking to form a partnership with another class outside of the UK to practice Spanish and discuss various cultural perspectives.  The site also offers resources to teachers as well as has a feature that has online field trips.  I also found a link regarding culture called "Children Around the World" which explores various cultures.  Overall I think the ePal site is a great resource for students and teachers that want to become globally competent members of society!


  1. It sounds as if this site has a lot to offer for you and your students.

  2. It would be fun for your students to post short videos, in Spanish, sharing information about your school, your community and their lives - pets, hobbies, etc. - in the ePals Student Media Galleries. If the Puerto Rican students also posted a glimpse of their school and lives, you would provide interesting insights not just for your students but for all ePals members! That would be a great thing to help your students get ready for the trip. Check out the other things posted in the ePals Student Media Galleries, too.
    One of my personal favorites is from a gr. 4-5 class from Puebla, Mexico, in Spanish, talking about the bakery in their town:
    Here's info from that school:
    (Note: You may have to join ePals and sign into your account to be able to view these files. I don't know whether you actually joined when you wrote your blog post. Probably 90% of the content is available AFTER you sign into your account. In the past, most of the content was available without having an account, but that changed in June 2012.)

  3. ePals is a great, cheap way to forge connections with individuals of other nations. This is especially useful when traveling to the nation in question!