Thursday, June 7, 2018

Collaborative Global Projects: Project Based Learning With Pen Pals

Collaborative Global Projects for kids are a great way to help students write more while learning about those from other cultures around the world. Try this great site! A variety of skills can be integrated into the projects, plus teachers have access to everything. So it's a safe way for students to learn online skills in an everchanging world. Click through for more details and to learn more about this innovative technology PBL option. {second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth grade}

When I was in school, I loved having a pen pal. My pen pal and I exchanged photos and wrote about our activities and community. It was an experience I'll never forget. The letters came through my teacher, so we felt like we were a perfect match. Now, there's a new digital way to continue the tradition of having pen pals. A new startup company called PenPal Schools, located in Austin, TX, has provided a wonderful alternative to traditional project based learning. They have designed a community for Collaborative Global Projects With Pen Pals.




After teachers subscribe to PenPal Schools, they select a project appropriate for the age and interest of their class. 

The Collaborative Projects have:
  • match days for pen pals, 
  • an essential question, 
  • grade level standards covered during the project (common core, Teks, and ISTE), 
  • engaging activities each week of the project, 
  • and a time for reflection. 
Students learn technology skills, new vocabulary, reading skills, write about their findings, and are able to collaborate in different ways with their pen pals. Their built in assessments check for understanding and the lessons take only 30 minutes to complete.


Matching Pen Pals for Collaborative Global Projects

Students are given a class passcode to participate in the global projects. They complete their profile and learn how to be a good pen pal. Students are not required to enter their name or personal information so they are safe. They select their own avatar and complete the profile so they can be matched with children their own age and gender. Students are matched with students from all over the world who begin the project on the same day. They can then collaborate on the same project.

Teachers Using Global Projects

Teachers can go to their dashboard to see messages sent and received. They can provide feedback and participate in the teacher forum. This is a great collaborative community for teachers who have limited time to design their own activities for a project based learning unit or for those who are beginning their first pbl unit.



I hope you've loved learning about collaborative global projects. If you want to learn more about project based learning, visit my pbl blog posts. Or, you can visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store for high-interest project based learning units.

Collaborative Global Projects for kids are a great way to help students write more while learning about those from other cultures around the world. Try this great site! A variety of skills can be integrated into the projects, plus teachers have access to everything. So it's a safe way for students to learn online skills in an everchanging world. Click through for more details and to learn more about this innovative technology PBL option. {second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth grade}


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