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.
More than 1,000 students from India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States connected with other students around the world to learn together. Many of these communities have limited access to quality education, so PenPal Schools is an opportunity to practice real-world reading, writing and language skills. These skills enable students to pursue their future education and career goals. Together with their PenPals, students from the Dell Youth Learning partner programs formed a community of over 2,000 young people learning about life in each other’s countries, studing civic activists and leaders who fight for human rights and exchanging perspectives on issues like the environment and immigration.
One organization enrolled more PenPals than any other to claim the grand prize of $10,000 worth of Dell technology: DigitalWish. DigitalWish is a non-profit organization on a mission to solve technology shortfalls in K-12 classrooms. They connect teachers’ technology wishes with donors who want those wishes to come true. Since August 2009, DigitalWish has granted over 31,000 classroom technology wishes, delivered over $14 million in technology products to American classrooms and impacted over 500,000 students!
Like PenPal Schools, DigitalWish is passionate about equipping educators with the technology needed to provide students with an education that will enable them to thrive in the 21st century. Their School Modernization Initiative provides technology training in the classroom for students, teachers, administrators and afterschool clubs. As a result of this program students have been able to learn more about digital citizenship and cybersafety as well as how to make digital presentations and conduct research online.
UNETE demonstrates this commitment in the many ways they introduce technology into teaching-learning processes. For example, they’ve provided technology, teacher training and content to serve public school students in high-poverty areas in Mexico for over sixteen years. In this time they have built 6,000 media labs in more than 7,500 schools and supported over 95,000 teachers!
During the contest UNETE interviewed students about their experience with PenPal Schools and what lessons they learned:
On behalf of our friends at the Dell and everyone at PenPal Schools, we thank all the educators, students and non-profit programs who joined our mission to connect people around the world to learn together. Together we are redefining what’s possible in education. The contest may be over, but the conversation continues!