ePals Blogging

A different view of the use of blogs is the international opportunities that they can provide. International blogs and teaching sites must be thought of very carefully in order to prevent just anyone from following the blog, but it does provide opportunities for the students to share their culture with those around the world. The article “Boundless Opportunity” by Diane Schaffhauser (2009) presents the case of two partner schools whom of which connected and shared blogs that could only be seen by the other class and their guardians in order to share their work and to see the diversity of the classes. The class used ePals (an online blogging site) in order to communicate with the other class; one was in Isreal while the other was in the United States. Schaffhauser states that the blog between the classes was used “so their two classes could express their unique cultures and learn about music and dance specific to other parts of the world” (p. 13); this would be very useful if the class were to be creating a project in those subjects and would like to share that work while also being introduced to a new type of music and dance found in other cultures. Collaboration between the classrooms will also allow the students to study and understand other countries to a better degree, this would also be helpful if students were studying other places in the world and would thus get real-world experience with them rather than reading from text. The article wrote that “in the midst of doing a unit on Latin music, teaching her class dances, instruments, and music styles. Baugher [The United States teacher] said ‘Then it occurred to me that this would be a good opportunity for them to express their dance culture’ [and then posted a video labelled] ‘This is how we dance in DC” (p.14). The teacher got a reply from the other class showing a very different form of dance that was very choreographed and unique to their culture. Also, ePal allowed the teachers to help teach the opposing class their language. This site could be very beneficial to the classroom and has safety measurements to protect the teacher and the students alike. Only teachers are allowed on the site so students would not be online posting, the teacher must approve another classroom to connect with them and the teachers come from qualified schools. Students, as always, would also have the opportunity to not be included in any photos or videos that are shared on the site and this blog would only be used if the parents have given consent for the students’ photos to be taken and shared with the other class(es). 

Bibliography

Schaffhauser, D. (2009). Boundless Opportunity. T H E Journal36(9), 13–18. Retrieved from 

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