Teacher Review for PenPal Schools

Pen Pal Schools was a hit with students!

Katie L.
Media specialist/librarian
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Rating
Learning Scores
Engagement
Pedagogy
Support
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Further application
Individual
Knowledge gain
Student-driven work
Great with Advanced learners
General
Low literacy
How I Use It
I am a school librarian who collaborated with a classroom teacher reading I am Malala with her students. Our project was the Pakistan VR field trip. This was the perfect way to enhance their experience with the story and learn more about an unfamiliar culture. We loved the VR aspect of it, although finding enough devices was hard, even with MS students who all have phones. They needed the Vimeo app and some where unable to download it. Fortunately, there are work arounds.
My Take
I loved that it hit so many information literacy and digital citizenship skills with the students. It was easy to observe their work and it gave them hints about what a good answer would look like. On the teacher end, there were many options about what you could assess, and you could adjust what specific skills you wanted to grade. One downside was unresponsive pen pals. We did this project towards the end of the year and our school year lasts longer than others so we lost our pen pals a few weeks in. I'd also like to have the option to approve posts before students can submit them to their pen pal chat. Most students wanted to be able to communicate properly with their pen pals, but some used text speak and bare minimum answers, It would have been nice to have been able to send it back to them for corrections before it got posted.