Learning Tools | FETC 2013 News

ePals Global Community Enhances Common Core Support, Collaborative Learning

The ePals free Global Community has received several upgrades and enhancements, with a heavy emphasis on collaborative social learning.

New capabilities and expanded academic resources include free student learning centers, new classroom management and Web 2.0 collaboration tools, and projects and materials that provide immediate support for teachers implementing the Common Core standards.

In addition, the ePals Learn365 platform now offers schools and districts an integrated solution for school-wide and district-wide collaboration and communication with access to community and content that ePals characterized as "key to 21st century learning."

The company is exhibiting its products and services in booth 609 of the FETC 2013 National Conference, held this week in Orlando, FL.

Key additions to the ePals Global Community include:

  • New student-focused learning centers designed to appeal to a broad range of interests and learning styles and facilitate individual exploration, inquiry, and collaboration;
  • A new series of projects challenging students to apply critical thinking and writing skills to collaboratively solve real world problems, including Futuristic City Swap, where students can draw and describe a city in 2050, an e-mail discussion on Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington, and more;
  • A teaching resources section that offers tutorials to help members get the most from their experience on ePals and a media gallery that includes lessons, templates, videos, rubrics, and other tools and resources organized by topic and age group;
  • Expanded project library featuring teacher-created lessons at varying levels of difficulty that can be customized and used independently or collaboratively; and
  • New online tools allowing teachers to schedule, publish, assess and grade student assignments, create progress reports, and monitor student activity in real time across ePals projects and workspaces.

Additions to the Learn365 platform include:

  • Integration with Google Drive, a secure e-mail and document sharing solution using Google's Gmail client and the new ePals Global Community;
  • Seamless connection to a school's SIS, automating the creation of collaborative groups at the classroom, school, and district levels, facilitating social learning across the district; and
  • Student-centric model where teachers and students can connect and collaborate to learn from each other, facilitating project-based learning aligned to the Common Core standards in and outside of classrooms.

Visit epals.com for more information.

About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at [email protected].