Melbourne Beach and Bulgarian Students Become Pen PalsViews on BG | April 7, 2011, Thursday // 10:12| views
Photo by EPA/BGNES
Second-grade students at Gemini Elementary in Melbourne Beach are pen pals with students in Bulgaria, communicating through the collaborative online learning platform, Glogster.
Deborah Ruscillo set up her class with a Glogster account, which is similar to Facebook but can be accessed only by her students, their classmates and their pen pals in Bulgaria.
Students learn such technology skills as setting up homepages, downloading pictures, videos and clip art, and communicating online with their pen pals.
"They were so excited about this project and spent free time at home working on their glogs," Ruscillo said.
Before corresponding with their pen pals, the second-graders had been "glogging" for several months and developing personal "glogs" about themselves with pictures, videos and clip art. They could use premade Glogster materials, as well as download personal sources from home or school.
Ruscillo hit upon the idea of Glogster pen pals and with the help of Greg Cross, one of eight Brevard Public Schools teacher-technology integrators, contacted Glogster headquarters in Boston. From there, Ruscillo's class was linked with a fourth-grade class in Bulgaria.
The teacher at the Bulgarian school is using the Glogster technology to help teach English to her students. The Bulgarian pen pals attend Fifth Primary School in the area of Stara Zagora in central Bulgaria.
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