Using Keypals as Student Assessment (Global Communication)

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Keypal: a person with whom one regularly exchanges E-mails for fun (Dictionary.com)

Recently an ICT instructor at a Philadelphia school contacted me to ask if I would be interested in collaborating in a keypal assignment. We discussed on Skype that we would have our students share general information about themselves, their country, and their culture (My school is in Korea). We also decided that this would be a great opportunity to informally assess what the students have been learning in their homeroom class. We asked the students to email their keypals a detailed summary of what they have learned recently. My students chose to talk about the U.S. immigration and process of the early 1900s.

Here are tips I think would be useful if you decide to integrate the assignment into your class:

  • Make sure to have your students Cc you in all emails so that you can have access to their content for assessment, as well as monitor  appropriateness.
  • Schedule a time for students to email one another.
  • Provide question prompts for students so that they know what information they  need to provide their keypals. I found that 3rd graders can be vague in explaining what they learned in class.
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