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'Wisconsin Connects' Initiative To Drive Online Collaboration

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The state of Wisconsin has launched a new online initiative called Wisconsin Connects. The initiative aims to provide a safe learning environment for K-12 students and to enable students in Wisconsin to connect and collaborate with other students from around the world.

The initiative was launched in collaboration with ed tech developer ePals, a provider of online collaboration tools, including the Global Learning Community, which provides collaborative tools for teachers and students in a secure environment and is used by more than 500,000 teachers from 200 countries and territories around the world, according to ePals.

Using ePals' Classroom Match functionality, teachers in Wisconsin will be able to locate classrooms around the world and collaborate with students from other countries.

"Wisconsin Connects gives students access to high-tech tools that will provide entry to other cultures, build relationships that strengthen America's stature in the world, improve global understanding, and position Wisconsin students to develop their global competencies at a young age," said Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton in a statement released this week. "Participating students will improve their communication and Internet technology skills and become better prepared to compete in a 21st century global economy."

"The opportunity for young students to connect and collaborate with global communities empowers them to reach out creatively in a 21st century environment," said Kathy Sanders, library media specialist for Taylor Prairie Elementary School in Cottage Grove, WI, also in a prepared statement. "I have seen the excitement build as our students share information about their school and their community. Learning is about engagement, and ePals gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their own learning and learn about other cultures in the process."

Further information about Wisconsin's initiative can be found here.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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