See a short video about the IBvc, which IB is providing for all IB teachers and starting with students in Middle Years and Diploma Programmes. (Also for all IB alumni.)
IB coordinators in schools should have gotten something from IB about IBvc opening its doors on Aug. 31 at: http://ibo.epals.com.
This is happening on the robust, safe social learning platform called ePals LearningSpace. You can see a video about that at: https://learningspace.epals.com.
Other tools from ePals are free, such as SchoolMail, which is designed for school use and has features that teachers want to use (unlike gmail or other general market email systems). I do webinars on how to use the free tools. I am posting an event for Friday, Sept. 3, at 11 a.m., targeting PD folks and professors, if you are interested.
All email systems are not created equal....some like ePals have TRUSTe certirfication....so know what you are getting into if you are providing free email addresses to students to encourage communication, collaboration, and authentic writing situations.