In this tutorial, we will share an overview of the ePals Global Community and outline why you will find it a valuable teaching tool for you and your classroom.The ePals Global Community is free for teachers and parents to join.
Since 1996, ePals, the leading provider of school-safe collaborative learning products for K-12 students, teachers and parents, has been dedicated to helping learners from around the world connect and interact with each other online in a safe, educational environment. ePals connects teachers, students, parents and educators from around the world, enabling them to communicate and collaborate on academic and cultural projects and establish international friendships.ePals was founded around the core principles of creating global citizens and digital citizens. Through ePals collaborative and authentic learning experiences, students are learning in a real-world setting that builds digital literacy, global awareness, and critical-thinking skills and introduces students to multiple points-of-view.
Our global community reaches more than 600,000 educators and millions of students in more than 200 countries and territories. ePals technology enables these learners, who speak more than 136 different languages, to connect, share, collaborate and learn. Embedded language translation tools, which cover 58 languages as of August 2010, help increase communication.Unlike traditional social networks where a person usually connects solely with people he or she knows in the “real world,” the ePals network connects students both “down the block” and literally around the globe with people they may not know, but with whom they share a common interest. For example, a high school class in San Diego studying Chinese may use ePals to connect with a class in China that is studying English. The interactions help students in both countries learn the language and experience some of the culture through this real-world interaction.
The ePals approach provides an effective way to instruct and reach today's technology savvy students and teachers. ePals provides digital content designed for collaboration and self-paced, self-directed learning as well as a safe platform to share work globally. Authentic ePals projects are centered around meaningful content and experiences that require teamwork, digital literacy skills, higher-level thinking and communication. By engaging in authentic learning experiences about relevant issues, students, teachers and mentors learn and work together, strengthening core learning while motivating learners and building self-confidence and skills necessary for future careers. At the same time, ePals helps teachers learn to use technology effectively in their classrooms, providing professional development, curriculum, contests and other resources. ePals is a platform designed to promote meaningful teaching and learning, showing teachers and students how to use technology strategically to promote the fundamental learning principles essential for academic achievement. This involves creating a safe and secure content-rich environment that challenges students and educators to research smartly, collaborate with other learners of all ages, think critically, problem-solve, and communicate their learning using various web 2.0 tools. It is this way that technology serves deep learning and is not simply an add-on in the classroom. To learn more about NETS-S and the related NETS-T (teachers) and NETS-A (administrators), go to http://www.iste.org.
ePals' mission is to support lifelong learning through collaborative experiences that empower and inspire. The ePals Global Community is about discovery, engagement, collaboration. On the ePals site, educators will findSchool-safe email for monitored communication between students and their ePalsClassroom Match, a tool for finding collaborative partners based on project topic, student age range, country, language and moreEmail-based collaborative projects with digital content from National GeographicMember-created collaborative projects, with project descriptions, printable handouts, and samples of student workForums for students, teachers and families to participate in discussions with peers worldwideMedia galleries for uploading and sharing student workAnd more!
n this tutorial, we will introduce you to the ePals Global Community, take you on a tour of the ePals website and explain the various activities in which you and your students can participate.
On the homepage, you will find a purple navigation bar that runs across the top of the page. Think of this navigation bar as your map to the ePals website. The “Nav Bar” always appears on your screen, no matter where you are on the ePals site. The tabs on the Nav Bar include: Projects, Collaborate, Teachers, Students, Families and About ePals. The first two tabs are organized by function: projects and collaborate. The next three tabs are organized by a user’s role: teacher, student or family. The last tab, About ePals, offers information on all ePals’ products, a link to the corporate site, and other information.Above the purple bar you see Help. If you click that, you will see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and also manuals and other helpful documents you can download.
ePals homepage is also the place where you will sign in to the site. Sign in, at the top right of the screen, if you have already joined ePals. New to the site? Use Join ePals to become a member of ePals. Help, located at the top right of the page, will take you to ePals FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and other resources you can download.
ePals is a community of educators who believe in the value of collaborative projects and in the importance of developing students who are both globally aware and digitally literate. Our collaborative projects are wonderful, authentic ways to achieve these goals. On this tab, you will be able to access a library of projects, forums to find partners for collaboration about these projects, as well as a place to upload your own projects.Under Choose a Project, you will find ePals/National Geographic Projects and Projects created by teachers who are members of the ePals Global Community.ePals Collaborative Projects.ePals/National Geographic projects are email-based collaborative projects with digital content from National Geographic. These classroom-proven projects include Digital Storytelling, The Way We Are (cultural exchange), and science-oriented projects such as Global Warming, Habitats, Maps, Natural Disasters, Water and Weather.Member Projects. Members of the ePals community have created, implemented and vouched for these projects. The goal of these projects is easy replication. Therefore, these projects include a project description, samples of student work, and in many cases, downloadable handouts, rubrics, and templates created by the teacher. Projects labeled “Teacher Spotlight” have been showcased on ePals as exemplary projects. Projects labeled “Teacher Ambassador” were recognized as winning entries in ePals international contest in 2010.Under Talk About It you will find links to ePals Project Forums. Here, teachers post requests to collaborate on one of the projects. Under Share Your Work, we ask teachers to upload their own projects to share with the ePals community. When you upload a project, we encourage you to include samples of your student work, along with a project description.
While ePals projects can easily and successfully be completed solely in your classroom, they are even more powerful learning experiences when paired with a collaborative partner. The Collaborate tab gives you access to several ways to find a collaborative partner.Under Find A Classroom, we suggest four ways to find a partner for projects:Search by Classroom ProfilesSearch by GeographySearch by ProjectSearch Teacher Forums
The Teachers tab congregates all of ePals activities directed at educators. Choose a Project provides access to the ePals/National Geographic Projects and Member-Created Projects. Talk About It links directly to Teacher Forums. Within the Teacher Forums, you will find ongoing discussions about:Administrators/IT Coordinators; ePals Teacher Spotlight; ePals Wanted; Global Issues/Current Events; Literature in the Classroom; Mentoring; Ongoing Projects; Other (miscellaneous); Research; Special Education; Teacher Resources; and Technology.Community Library link allows you to see a library of teacher projects (See Teacher Work) or to upload projects of your own (Share Your Work), or samples of your students’ work. Please note: you must be logged into ePals before clicking this link. If not, you we be routed to the log in page.Resources link includes a variety of tips, activities and guides to easily add instructional value to your ePals experience.
The Students Tab gives you one spot for a quick review of activities available to students, for independent learning, within ePals’ safe and secure site. Student Explorations: discrete student learning units, which includelinks to great websites from government, museum, university and other educationally-relevant sites for students to use, as well as eFilms, quality documentaries, that can be viewed for free.Talk about it includes student forums which are reserved just for students, who post questions and answers. (If adults try to post, they will be asked to write their comments in the teacher or farent forums.)Student Forums include:ePals Book ClubArts and EntertainmentCultureGlobal Issues/Current EventsHomework HelpLooking for Information on…OtherPublishers/Creative CornerSchool TimeSocial IssuesSportsTechnologyShare Your Work is a place where teachers can submit student work to be posted on ePals. A staff member will preview the item before it is posted. Your students will have viewers from around the world! Student work can be downloaded or rated. Student work can be videos, photos, drawings, text files, and other digital formats, NOT just videos! Students can also independently upload their own work and share it with the Global Community.
Many families too know the benefits of global collaboration for their children. Whether homeschool families, or parents looking to provide free, quality enrichment activities, we are seeing a growing number of families joining the ePals Global Community. Under Projects, families canlink directly to collaborative projects that are well-suited to do as family enrichment activities. The Way We Are project celebrates cultural diversity, while Digital Storytelling project is a great way to capture family histories and stories.UnderTalk About It you will find direct links to ePals Family Forums and Homeschool Forums. Here, parents find pen pals for their children, find collaborative partners for projects, and talk about raising global citizens, digital citizens.Under Share Your Work, we invite our family community to view Student Work and to Share Your Work. You can upload your children’s projects, to share with the community. Uploading is a way of sending a file from your computer to the ePals for review before we post it in the ePals Video Vault.
The Help link leads a set of materials to help answer any questions you may have about using ePals. These materials include FAQs and a collection of downloadable resources includingThe Administrator's Guide to ePals' SchoolMailePals Parental Permission forms Tips On Building a Great Classroom MatchWhat Can a Teacher Do with ePals?ePals Skillbuilders LibraryePals SchoolMail Guide, written by ePals member, Janetta Garton Internet Safety Tips and Consejos De Seguridad En Internet
ePals SchoolMail is free for K12 students, teachers and parents.You can read more about the company at the corporate website: http://corp.epals.com.
In this tutorial, we will show you different ways to showcase your students email exchange in a digital format.
Email exchanges still make up the vast majority of collaborative projects within the ePals Global Community. This one-to-one writing experience is the very heart of ePals: global communication with embedded technology, all within an authentic writing task. The impact of this project can be very powerful. However, often teachers don’t have a digital product that summarizes the experience, or which can be uploaded and shared.With little effort, you can extend your email exchange so that you can upload and share your experiences with our community, your students’ families, and, of course, your ePals. Some ways to extend your email exchange are:PowerPoint PresentationVideoGlogBlog or wikiWebsiteWordlePrezi
World languages next gen standards – connections,
World Languages Next Gen Standards – Connections,Comparisons, Communities Tuesday April 9th, 2012 Michelle Olah
7. Connections: The student will be able to acquire, reinforce, and further his/her knowledge of other disciplines through the target language.8. Comparisons: The student will be able to develop insight into the nature of the target language and culture by comparing his/her own language(s) and cultures to others.9. Communities: The student will be able to use the target language both within and beyond the school setting to investigate and improve his/her world beyond his/her immediate surroundings for personal growth and enrichment.
Introduction to the ePals Global CommunityLearning Objective: To know what ePalsGlobal Community can do for your classroom.
What is the ePals Global Community?The ePals Global Community is: Global Citizens, Digital Citizens • The worlds largest network Authentic Learning of K-12 classrooms Global Awareness • Committed to core concept Digital Literacy of creating Global Citizens, Collaboration Digital Citizens • Safe and protected environment • Free to classrooms worldwide Students in Kenya write to their ePals in Connecticut, USA
Who is the ePals Global Community?Who belongs to the ePals Global Community? • More than half a million educators • Millions of students who speak 136 different languages • Parents and home school families • In 200 countries and territories
Why use ePals?• Students live in a world increasingly digital and global• Students VERY likely to email, chat, video conference, etc. with someone who speaks another language.• Meets Communication AND Intercultural Standards!
ePals Helps Build Global, Digital Citizens•ePals allows students to: •Use 21st century communication skills •See authentic material from teens like themselves •Participate in a global community •Compare languages with another English language learner •Broaden their understanding of other disciplines based on data collected from students in another country.
What You Can Do with ePals? On ePals, discover: • School-safe email, SchoolMail® with teacher monitoring • Classroom Match, a tool to find collaborative partners • Email-based collaborative projects • Member-created projects – easy to replicate • Forums for students, teachers and families • Media galleries for uploading, sharing and viewing student work • Students Speak contests and more! ePals’ Mission: Support Learning through Collaborative Experiences
How to Navigate the ePals SiteLet’s tour the ePalswebsite and see thevarious activities inwhich you and yourstudents can .participate.
The ePals Homepage Sign in | Help | Join NowThe purple navigation bar, always available, maps the ePalswebsite: • Projects • Collaborate • Teachers • Students • Families • About ePals Sign In, Help and Join Now are above bar, on upper right
The ePals Homepage Sign in | Help | Join Now Sign In: If you already belong to ePals, log in here. New to ePals? Join ePals! here
Projects TabePals projects offer various standards-basedcollaborative projects ready to use in your classroom• Choose a Project ePals/National Geographic Projects Teacher-Created Projects• Talk About It Find a partner and discuss in Project Forums• Share Your Work Upload the project you created to share with other teachers
Teachers TabTeachers tab has ePals activities for educators• Choose a Project • Ongoing Projects• Talk About It (Forums) • Other • Administrators/IT • Research Coordinators • Special Education • ePals Teacher Spotlight • Teacher Resources • ePals Wanted • Technology • Global Issues/Current Events • Literature in the Classroom Please note: you must be • Mentoring logged into ePals before• Share Your Work uploading any work.• Resources
Students TabStudents tab has ePals activities for studentsLearn About It• Student Explorations• eFilmsTalk About It• ePals Book Club• Student ForumsShare Your Work• ePals Video Vault Please note: you must be logged into ePals before uploading any work.
Family TabFamilies Tab has ePals activities for families• Projects • Digital Storytelling • The Way We Are• Talk About It • Family Forum • Homeschool Forum• Share Your WorkPlease note: You must be logged into ePals before uploading any work.
Help Link Gives Online Support• FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions• The Administrators Guide to ePals SchoolMail• ePals Parental Permission Forms• Tips on Building Great Classroom Match• What can a Teacher Do with ePals?• ePals Skillbuilder Library • Using email in literacy activities • Internet etiquette Still have questions? • Best practices for student email Email us at• ePals SchoolMail Guide firstname.lastname@example.org• Internet Safety Tips (in English and Spanish)
Task: Join ePals Global Community1.Go to www.epals.com2.Click “Join Now” and fill out information3. Create your classroom profile (see Example)
Please write a brief profile description including anyinformation that you think might help potential ePalspartners find your profile.Describe the types of correspondence andcollaboration you are seeking, including the age,language and location of the ideal partner. Includeany relevant keywords that someone might use in asearch.
What is ePals SchoolMail?ePals SchoolMail is anemail system wasdesigned for K12 usewith safety featuresbeyond mass marketemail systems.
What is ePals SchoolMail? A webmail communication tool built specifically for the K-12 education market Offers opportunity to email with peers in 200 countries, part of the ePals Global Community Safe and secure student communication tool Has TRUSTe certification of student privacy
What is ePals SchoolMail? Like regular email with the addition of “policy management” and monitoring Teachers can monitor mail written by their students, a feature not available in general market email systems Features different types of accounts, with different roles and abilities for each
Share Your Email Exchange DigitallyShowcase your students’email collaborativeexchange in a digitalformat.
Digital Presentation of ExchangesExchanges Can be Captured Digitally into aVariety of Products and Formats • PowerPoint Presentation • Video • Glog (digital poster) • Blog or Wiki • Website • Wordle (word frequency count) • Prezi
1.Go to “Teachers” tab2.Choose “Skill Builders”3. Review Email Safety and Etiquette4. Think about what information you need to teach your students BEFORE starting your collaborations
Create a PowerPoint The French / American Alliance Sarah Lacomb, New York, USA
Create a PowerPoint French-American Alliance Email Exchange http://www.epals.com/media/p/234516.aspx
Create a VideoVideo of StudentsSending Itemsto Their ePalsStudents in one classcreated a video sayinghello, as they prepared tomail a package to theirePals’ classroom. http://www.epals.com/media/p/237096.aspx
Create a VideoBelarus Students Create Video for ePals in USAAt the end of theemail exchange,the Belarusstudents sent avideo showing atypical school day.They all spoke inEnglish. http://www.epals.com/media/p/237099.aspx
Create a Glog – Online PosterePals from USA and Poland Exchange Glogs The 8th Grade students are ePals with students from Poland. Since October 2009, the students have been exchanging information describing themselves, their families, and a day in their lives. Information was exchanged through email. A Glog is an online poster with creative effects. - Dawn Krueger, Wisconsin USAhttp://www.epals.com/blogs/teacherspotlight/archive/2010/05/28/the-way-we-are-glogs-online-posters.aspx
Create a Blog or WikiStudents from USA and Lebanon Share Letters in a Blog Young students from Beirut, Lebanon, exchange book marks, letters and cultural information with students from Colorado, USA in this blog. This project was a winner in the Microsoft Innovative Educator Forum contest, announced in July 2010. http://www.epals.com/media/p/234620.aspx
Create a WebsiteBill Reilly, Bethlehem Central Middle School, NY, USA has used this website tocollect the exchanges in his ePals global projects since 2000. http://bcsd.k12.ny.us/middle/Global/global.htm
Create a Wordle Which words did students use most often?Use www.wordle.net to give a visual representation of each student’s email exchangeThis is made from text from one letter in a US-French student exchange
Create a Prezi Create nonlinear presentations with Prezi.comPrezi.com offers nonlinear presentations. Viewers can zoom in and out of a visual map that includes word, links, videos, or images. Prezi created about an ePals collaboration between English Language Learners in Paris, France, and students in Massachusetts, USA. Students in both classes were ages 11-14. http://prezi.com/jgochpsfg9ns/epals-workshop/
TASK: Teacher Resources and Exploration TimeGo to Teacher Tab and review Teacher Guide/Student Guide and best practices resources AND/ORGo to “collaboration” and start finding possible collaborators and/or projects