For those of you who have used or are using Gaggle, ePals, ThinkQuest or a similar system, we are looking for a system for our elementary students to use to email and communicate with kids from other schools. I would be interested in your answers to the following questions:
What did you choose?
Why did you choose it?
What do you like about it?
What do you dislike about it?
Are you happy with what you are using?
Edited to add ThinkQuest.
An ePals101 webinar is offered weekly to help you get the most out of using their products. Sign up: http://epals.101.sgizmo.com. Or look at brief tutorials: http://bit.ly/learnePals.
Some features of ePals:
* Global Community of teachers in 200 countries, more than 600,000 teachers, for you to find a match.
* SchoolMail, a powerful email system designed for use in education, with teacher monitoring, policy management, translation to 58 languages. (You can give to parents to communicate with them if necessary too.)
* Projects that can help you get started with project-based global learning. Some are designed with input from National Geographic, and some are teacher-created.
* Forums for teachers, students and parents. All are moderated, so your students can ask a question and get answers from students around the world...safely, quickly, without revealing personal information.
* Media Gallery where your best student work can be posted. There's a worldwide viewing audience of 27 million monthly! Your students can see what other students are doing in other places. Your students can view virtual field trips to New Zealand, Idaho, Senegal, and other points around the globe. How powerful to see videos made by other kids their own age!
* Lots of other things, such as free eFilms (documentaries), warmups, etc.
* ePals has TRUSTe certification of child privacy, a tough certification to earn. Look for the logo on the bottom of webpages to see who else meets this standard.
* ePals SchoolMail has been adopted by New York City schools and other districts large and small.
Like ePals, both Gaggle and ThinkQuest are designed for educational use and offer features needed by teachers and students. All these companies are trying to do things responsibility with K12 students.
Do you have an opinion on any of them though? I got what you posted from their site. What I am looking for is people who are using them and what they like and dislike about them.
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