In today’s modern classroom, digital video conferencing provides students and teachers the opportunity to break down their classroom walls. By connecting classrooms from different regions, students are able to learn from, interact with, and explore the similarities and differences between themselves and their peers. Students become more motivated in the classroom and better thinkers outside it.
In our video Pen Pal program, we facilitate video conversations between classrooms across the globe. This program exposes students to perspectives and forms of creative expression that they would otherwise only read or hear about. Whether the connection is across different cities or different continents, we give students the chance to see a world outside of their classroom.
By facilitating video conversations between students, we open the door to several new and exciting opportunities for creative expression and active learning. For example, collaborating with classmates to create videos for an authentic audience provides an avenue for thoughtful discussion. When students know that someone is going to read their letter and respond to it, it encourages them to write with a sense of purpose. This is only one of the many benefits to learning we can achieve by connecting classrooms through video.
Before any student participation, we introduce the teachers of two partner classrooms and encourage them to discuss their objectives for the program. Then, students in each classroom record and share an introductory video with their partner class. Students are encouraged to collaborate by directing conversations that include their entire class.
In addition to providing the platform for video creation and playback, we are responsible for delivering videos between the two classrooms. When applicable, we offer to make minor video edits and add subtitles between classrooms with language barriers. Our most important role is to work with teachers to ensure their goals for the program are met and that their students are enjoying the experience.
Since launching our pen pal program in 2014, we have successfully created dialogues between schools in the United States and India. We are currently expanding our program to include other nations. Since our platform is designed to reach classrooms regardless of infrastructure, we see a unique opportunity for interactions between schools of unique backgrounds, whether they’re public or private, low income or high income, rural or urban. If you are interested in running a LumenEd Pen Pal program at your school, please contact us below.