'Wisconsin Connects' Initiative To Drive Online Collaboration


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

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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