Josh Eye, first grade (PKVES) and Erin Eye, first grade (JWES) are using Seesaw, a free digital portfolio app to connect their classrooms as pen pals. With Seesaw, students can send a video message, a written message, a photo, a drawing, or a digital project. Seesaw keeps all student posts private.
Mr. Eye says, “My class has used laptops, iPads, and of course paper and pencil. Erin and I have done Pen Pals between our classes for several years now. We were brainstorming ways to take it up a notch with digital conversion and all. We decided to use SeeSaw as new means to communicate. It's all important, learning now to write a letter, learning new technologies and making connections to the outside world. I love the project and can't wait to see how it will grow.”
Both teachers introduced their class through the video feature inside the app then started sending written messages to each other.
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There are currently nine paired classes in RCPS. Middle school students are paired with a class in India and elementary classrooms paired with classrooms in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Illinois. Most pen pal classrooms introduce themselves through a Google Hangout before writing inside the Seesaw app.