What's a Travel Buddy
A travel buddy is usually a small soft toy that goes on adventures around the world. They often come with their own book and sometimes even have their own blog. The idea is that they get sent to your buddy class that's often on the other side of the world and that class writes about their adventures in your travel buddy book. At the end of the year the travel buddy is sent back with lots of tales to tell about his/her adventures.
The great thing about having a travel buddy connected to your class blog is you get to hear about the adventures on a more regular basis. There are a couple of ways you can do this...
- Give the class you're connecting with a blog email address that they email blog posts to and these posts are then published to your blog
- Give the class you're connecting with your class or teacher email address, they email you and you create and post the information to your class blog
- Make the class you're connecting with an author on your class blog
- Create another blog that is specifically for your travel buddy and then do one of the above options
Here's a video that explains how to setup email to blog publishing.
What's a Class Mascot
Similar to a travel buddy but often class mascots only go on adventures with the students in the class. They may or may not go home with a student each night, it's entirely up to you. Whoever the mascot has an adventure with that day gets to write in the book and/or on the class blog about their adventure.
How to connect with other classes
These services provide lists of teachers, students and projects from around the world looking to connect with other classrooms:
Connected Classrooms Project on Google +
Connect with other classrooms via Google Plus and Google Hangouts. Plenty of different classrooms to choose from here.
EPals - Note they're moving to a new contact platform so may not be able to contact other classes until mid-late August
Plenty of classes to choose from here with a wide range of ages and interests. I've connected with quite a few classes on here and was lucky enough to visit the class we connected with in Melbourne a few years ago. The students in both classes loved connecting via email, our class blogs and our travel buddy books on a regular basis.
Projects By Jen
These projects are awesome! They are aligned to Northern Hemisphere school years but still available to classes all over the world. I've done the holiday card exchange with year 4,5 & 6 students and they loved it. Although we didn't get all of our cards before the end of the year they had a blast creating cards to send to others and checking into the blog and their emails to see any cards we'd received after school finished (I emailed them pictures of them).
Choose how you'd like to connect with another class or how you're going to post about your class mascot from now on. Start today. Make a blog post to announce your connection or your class mascot's adventures today.