Nathanial believes that the United States should switch to alternative clean energy and slow down the use of fossil fuels in order to preserve the environment. Nathanial demonstrated the qualities of an exceptional PenPal by approaching this topic with an open perspective. He also included extra evidence as part of his response:
I think the US should be spending their resources on clean energy because then the US can be a clean place to live. Such as the water getting contaminated by fossil fuels, also our health and development will get bad because of the fossil fuels in the US. Finally, the fossil fuels pollute our environment and effect the people’s money and lives."
From everyone at PenPalSchools, keep up the incredible work Nathanial!
Rebecca believes every student should attend college after high school if possible. She strongly believes students should attend college after high school because “teens that graduate college will earn 1 million dollars more in their lifetime than someone who just graduated high school." Rebecca demonstrated the traits of an outstanding PenPal by adding additional statistical data in her response:
I think that the United States should try to create more jobs. In the election this year they talk about the economy and unemployment. In 2008- 2010 about 8.4 million jobs were lost in the United States. The unemployment rate soared from 5 percent to nearly 10 percent. 22 million people who want a full time job can’t find one. So if you really wanted to have a family, you could not. Since you can barely afford to take care of yourself that person would not be able to have a family. After some kids graduate high school they decide to not go to college. Which is a bad mistake. A recent study shows that teens that graduate college will earn 1 million dollars more in their lifetime than someone who just graduated high school. Less education makes finding jobs much harder. I think that all teens should go to college so that they can get a good education. If they don't it will be harder for them later in life. Even though college can be expensive it would be better for them in the long run. Also high school graduates were twice as likely to be unemployed than college graduates. High school dropouts were three times as likely to have no work. In 2008-9 there was a financial crisis. The unemployment rate changes from where you live because some places will have a bigger unemployment rate than others depending on how many jobs there are. The United States should try to make more jobs!
Thanks for being an awesome PenPal, Rebecca!
Richard and his English class joined Nathanial, Rebecca and hundreds of other students from around the country in learning about Decision 2016. Richard and his class learned with their PenPals and reflected on the country’s unemployment rates.
Richard had a unique perspective on how to create more jobs in the United State: he wants the US to provide more hands-on jobs instead of replacing them with machines. Richard demonstrated the qualities of an excellent PenPal by providing many great examples in his statement and used outside sources to support his statements:
The unemployment is a key of economy crisis. It will bring down GDP of a country which other countries might pass America in the field of economy. According to the passage, unemployment is caused by rapid growing of technology, a person being unemployed for a long time, and bad education level. Most of the companies unemployed their workers because they have programs and technology to replace, which can save a lot of money. Bosses in big companies think this can be a more efficient way of producing. The best way to improve the unemployed rate is to inform the companies that technology like machine arms and robots are not perfect. For example, Tesla, one of the best companies in America, still uses real people to work on the cars. This is because people are more accurate and alerted than machine. A good employee will watch out for any risk or accidents that will happen during the reproduction. If something goes wrong, like an engine exploded, an employee can inform everyone so that there won't be a bigger incident. A robot won't do that. It only knows to work forever. So, companies should hire people to control the machine, so that it is safe and efficient while reproducing something. The companies should also provide opportunities for their employees to go to schools and learn about high efficiency and how to be a good employee. This way, the education level of the employees will rise, so that there won't be a high unemployment rate. Then, people won't be unemployed for a long time and being unemployed forever. So, I think the way to improve unemployment rate is to inform the companies the benefits of employ real people and the weaknesses of machines.
You’re awesome, Richard! Thanks and keep up the great work!
Kole demonstrated the qualities of an excellent PenPal by approaching this difficult topic thoughtfully. He also showed excellent academic skills by incorporating great examples from the lesson while adding his opinion and insight along the way:
As time goes on our economy grows and changes, which of course brings both advantages and disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages of our present economy is that job opportunities are going down. For example, jobs people would normally be doing are being replaced by robots. Also some people don't have enough education or skill today's jobs require. Well instead of complaining about our economy, why not try fixing it? How do we fix it though? Well first off, we need to have a good education, and I don't mean just getting your high school diploma I mean going to college. In the video provided by PenPals it stated that just high school graduates are twice unlikely to be unemployed then college graduates are. So the point I am trying to make is if you want a better chance at getting a good high paying job then you should go to college and gain more knowledge. Also, as stated by the article PenPals provides "Between 2008 and 2010, the nation lost about 8.4 million jobs". That's a very big number, and do we replace those jobs? By creating new ones of course! Every teenager has a dream, but they're scared they won't be able to accomplish it. Well if they get a good education and believe in themselves I think they can accomplish those dreams. You see, if people start putting their dreams to action they could create new business and open up hundreds of jobs!
After being matched with a group of PenPals Evan and his students began by learning about the world's pollinator problem. They read an article and watched a video about how bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are in danger of going extinct. These pollinators are helping to produce the foods we eat, so the PenPals learned about the problem in depth and were asked to reflect on why people would be compelled to protect the planet.
Evan made a great first impression by sharing his opinion clearly as well as a possible solution to this environmental challenge:
Sadly one of the only times that people are actually going to care is when it starts effecting them directly. By then its to late so that's the sad part. Maybe if people see that they may not be able to eat the food they want then, as the article said, they would take action. A scary part is that people may not even notice. Somehow this has no media coverage; even though there are over 3,000 studies that show a massive decrease in population of 3/10 major pollinators, as shown in the article. If you feel like helping these pollinators one way to do it is by planting wild flowers as the article instructs to those who do care.
When it came time to reflect on the lesson and discuss it with her PenPals, Mathilda made a great first impression and pulled in information from the lesson while demonstrating respect and positivity:
“I think the US and Denmark in some ways are similar, but at the same time I think they're very different from each other. One similarly thing may be that a lot of young people have a part time job. In the film they say that around 30% young people have part-time jobs in the US, I think it's sort of the same here in Denmark, I don't know if it's exactly 30 %, but I think it's probably almost the same. I think the young people in the United States, use their weekends like most young Danes do, and probably a lot of young people from other countries. Of course, it differs according to who you are as a person, but generally it’s a lot alike.”
She also compared and contrasted life in the United States and Denmark by using an example many students around her age are interested in: drivers licenses! “People in the US take their driver’s license at the age of fifteen, but in Denmark you have to wait until you are eighteen,” she wrote. “This helps them get to the activities they usually have after school in the US. They have these activities because their school day isn’t as long as in other countries so they have the time to do it.”
What was Mathilda’s favorite part of participating in PenPal Schools? “My favorite part of the penpal exchange has been that I get to learn about a lot of different cultures, while I get to talk to people from other countries. To me that is really interesting and I think it's a lot of fun too.”
Thanks for demonstrating what a great PenPal exchange is all about, Mathilda!
Jake distinguished himself as an excellent PenPal by putting a lot of thought into his response to the discussion question and incorporating information from the lesson. For example, how could education be improved in the United States? “I think two ways school education can be improved is to reduce bullying and to have less tests and more learning,” Jake wrote to his PenPal. “I think we should reduce bullying because according to the PenPal Schools video, 15% of students miss 1 out of 10 school days because of bullying. This means at least 36 days are lost due to bullying. We should have stricter bullying policies and rules for all schools.”
Jake also shared some great ideas for alternatives to tests:
I think we should have less tests and more learning because most parents and teachers disagree (on) the common core. Also according to www.Edutopia.com,’ project-based class work is more demanding than traditional book based instruction.’ This means that students have to look at multiple sources instead of memorizing information from one source. Also, some, if not most students like to do projects so project based instruction is more fun and educational. It also gives students a chance to express their creativity.”