This week, meet Holly Pazos, one of our Global Ambassadors from Texas, USA! Holly teaches 6th grade World Cultures, and she and her students have a lot of fun participating in a variety of PenPal projects!
This month, we’re celebrating FUTURA class from Virginia, USA! These PenPals participate in a lot of different projects thanks to their teacher, Beth Marks, who allows students to choose their own project. This means she manages multiple projects at once!
So far this semester, students in Beth’s FUTURA class have participated in Robotics, Fables, Folktales, and Mythology, Facts, Opinions, and Fake News, Weather & Meteorology, World Explorer, Walking to Freedom, Navigation & Cartography, Immigration in the 21st Century, The Power of Art, Race in America, The World Through My Eyes, Protecting the Planet, Joining Forces for the Environment, and Chinese Art & Literature.
Yes, one class participated in all of these projects this semester! How? By allowing students to choose and manage their own projects. Learn more about how Beth supports her students to take ownership of their learning, and check out some of her students’ responses below. Make sure to follow Beth on Twitter @BethFUTURA to continue to learn from her!
This week, meet one of our Global Ambassadors, Aprilanne Lynch from Illinois, USA! A lot of teachers know Aprilanne from her helpful blog post, Getting Started with PenPal Schools. Learn more about Aprilanne and why she loves PenPal Schools!
PenPal Schools Global Ambassadors are innovative educators who are leaders in our community! This week, meet Müge Kalay, our Global Ambassador from Turkey, and learn what she loves about PenPal Schools!
This week, PenPals in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving, so we wanted to take a moment to thank you for all of the hard work that you do everyday. Because of you, we are able to connect thousands of students around the world every week. We are so grateful that you and your students are part of our global learning community.
Thank you for participating in our projects and for sharing PenPal Schools with other educators. From the environment to discrimination to fake news, you’ve helped students learn about some of our world’s most pressing problems. By collaborating with their peers around the world, students are able to learn how they can make a difference. Together, we can make the world a better place.
During PenPal Fest, we welcomed over 12,000 students who participated in projects with PenPals around the world! This month we celebrate a 3rd grade class from India that participated in World Explorer. They loved learning with PenPals around the world and sharing more about their hometown of Mumbai!
In 2016, PenPal Schools launched the VR Field Trip to Pakistan and already 2,800 students from 14 countries have explored Pakistan through virtual reality!! This year, we’re developing our next virtual field trip: VR Field Trip Across America!
Students around the world will learn about America by virtually exploring communities across the United States. Want to feature your community in the VR Field Trip? Submit a video telling us why your community should be included in our newest project! If you’re selected we’ll send our professional VR production team to your school along with some free VR headsets!
This week we celebrate a classroom in Sweden that recently participated in Facts, Opinions, and Fake News. Students in Lotta Kilic’s classes, 9a and 9b, learned about how to evaluate sources and how “fake news” impacts communities around the world.
Check out some of their responses below and read more about what the students in Ms. Kilic’s classes had to say about their experience learning with PenPals. Facts, Opinions, and Fake News starts again Monday, October 2. Sign up today!
PenPals around the world are getting ready to participate in one of our most popular projects, World Explorer, for PenPal Fest 2017 starting October 2nd! This week, we recognize a student who participated in World Explorer earlier this summer. Congratulations to our PenPal of the Week, Julia D from Poland!
The biggest PenPal exchange of 2017 is coming! Classrooms from 23 countries including India, Colombia, the Netherlands, Uruguay, Sweden, the United States, and more have already enrolled. To participate simply enroll in our most popular global project, World Explorer starting October 2. Enroll by Wednesday, September 20 to get an invitation to the exclusive PenPal Fest Kickoff Party!
In order make sure that passionate and innovative teachers can always access PenPal Schools, we offer PenPal Schools for free for the first 5 teachers from every school! To claim your spot and gain free access for an entire year, simply enroll in any project - and then tell your friends!
Have you checked out PenPal Schools recently? You may not recognize it! With the help of suggestions from educators like you, we’ve made improvements so that you and your students can take global collaborations to the next level. Here are a few changes that will make your next PenPal project the best one yet!
Guaranteed responsive PenPals
To encourage students to write to their PenPals more frequently, they now earn PenPal Points for their work. Students who earn the most points get matched with the most responsive PenPals! We also now match every student with 3 PenPals instead of just one, so there’s almost always a new message waiting. Learn more about how we match PenPals.
Note: If students don’t hear from a PenPal within 7 days, they will be matched with a new PenPal. So make sure your students write at least once a week or they may lose their PenPals!
Dozens of new projects
We’re thrilled to offer more projects than ever, thanks in part to educators around the world who have been helping us create projects. Choose from new projects related to art, science, and media.
Are you jealous of your students when they’re having amazing conversations with PenPals around the world? You won’t be anymore! Educators can now connect in our brand new Global Teacher Forums.
Here are a few great forums to check out. You can share your ideas or what inspires you, post a photo of your students or their work, or share tips with others to help them make the most of PenPal Schools (you’ll need to be logged into your PenPal Schools account to participate):
This month, we welcomed one of our largest cohorts ever - over 5,000 students have started PenPal projects together in April! Let’s celebrate one of our PenPals from Russia, Alina R, as PenPal of the Week!
Students around the world have been engaging with PenPals like never before. With our newest project, VR Field Trip to Pakistan, students have connected with PenPals in Pakistan and other regions to learn about a country that is often misunderstood. Through virtual reality, PenPals have experienced the sights and sounds of the bustling streets of Lahore, Pakistan.
For teachers who missed the first exchange we have great news. The project begins again - with even more Pakistani classes participating - next Monday! Students will need to enroll before Monday to be matched with PenPals. Have you signed your class up yet?
February has been an exciting month for our PenPals of the Week! Our young scholars have left us feeling inspired as they explored topics from food and history to education and civil rights! Our February PenPals demonstrated respectful behavior, a commitment to academic excellence, and an interest in collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds. Please join us in celebrating our PenPals of the Week from the month of February!
PenPals of the Week demonstrate the extraordinary learning and connections that students can develop from PenPal exchanges. This week we hosted PenPal-A-Palooza, our largest exchange ever in which we welcomed over 5,000 students from all across the world to collaborate and learn together. To inspire all these new PenPals we’re sharing some words of wisdom from Victoria, a great PenPal from Connecticut (USA).
Every day the PenPal Schools teams and educators around the world get to witness the extraordinary learnings and connections that develop from our student’s PenPal exchanges. Now with our “PenPals of the Week” series you will, too! Follow along as we celebrate these young global learners.
This year we are proud to welcome a new cohort of PenPal Schools Global Ambassadors. Our Ambassadors are not only passionate about global education but also value community and learning with peers. Together they form a global network of education leaders from North America, South America, Europe and Africa. Over the next year Ambassadors will share best practices and lessons learned with one another and colleagues through professional development opportunities as well as work to grow our global community.
Get to know our 2016 PenPal Schools Global Ambassadors:
As a team of lifelong learners, we at PenPal Schools have an increasingly long list of blogs we turn to daily for inspiration, teaching strategies, quick tips and emerging best practices from our fellow educators. As you prepare for the new school year check out these must-reads!
The emphasis on aligning classroom instruction to academic standards is growing not only in the United States but in countries around the world. But academic standards are more than simply stated expectations that teachers and students must meet during a given school day or year. Academic standards are important guidelines that identify content, skills, and processes that students have already been exposed to, as well as the topics and skills that students will be expected to develop in the future.
At PenPal Schools, we have studied a number of different academic standards to ensure that teachers and students can confidently use PenPal Schools to help young scholars learn the information and skills required to succeed in both their primary and secondary education, and in their future careers.
In our Academic Standards Alignment resource, we have identified reading, writing, language, and technology standards that can guide teachers towards targeted learning outcomes while using PenPal Schools.
To most effectively align PenPal Schools to academic standards, consider the following questions:
This year PenPal Schools and Dell co-hosted a contest to promote global education. "The Big Small World" contest connected over 2,000 students from around the world while assisting non-profits in need of technology.
More than 60 nonprofit organizations within the Dell Youth Learning initiative participated. These organizations joined PenPal Schools' global community and the program with the most PenPals had a chance to win $5,000- $10,000 in Dell technology. Today we are excited to share not only the organizations that took home the prizes, but what happens when students from around the world connect to learn together.
PenPal Schools connects over a quarter million students in 150 countries to learn together.
Connect with other PenPal Schools educators in our Facebook community.