e-Buddies in Action!
This is a new segment of the e-Beat! Each month we will highlight a school or agency involved in e-Buddies. Our hope is that this will be an opportunity to share some of the challenges and triumphs encountered through group participation in e-Buddies!
This month, we spoke with Jan Micklo from North Andover High School in Massachusetts!
How long has your group been involved in e-Buddies?
Our group has been involved for the past three years.
How many members are currently matched with e-Buddies?
We currently have eight members matched with an e-Buddy.
What are some key challenges you have faced and overcome?
One initial challenge was finding a way to assist the students with what to write to their e-Buddy. Many would begin writing and have difficulty organizing their thoughts or recalling recent events. The solution was to incorporate a worksheet as part of their homework for the weekend, where they would list six things they engaged in. This "outline" is then discussed with a teacher or assistant on Monday morning and is used to structure their letter.
How do you make e-Buddies work with your group?
e-Buddies fits nicely into an hour-long period of the day, every Monday. Those students, who need assistance constructing sentences and typing, work with an adult on their outline. Some students work independently once the site has been accessed. Along with telling their buddy about their weekend, each student is expected to ask their e-Buddy a specific question. Because of the success of this program, next year our members will be participating in e-Buddies two times per week.
What have your group members gained by participating in e-Buddies?
Our group members have certainly gained a tremendous amount of practice in communicating with their peers. Aside from the gains in written expression, computer literacy, and exposure to their cohorts in various regions of the U.S., e-Buddies has provided an enjoyable experience. The students are very invested in this program and look forward to receiving e-mails from a friend. Additionally, e-mail communication will likely be an important means to keep in touch with relatives and peers in their future adult lives.
Do you work with a group of e-Buddies participants? We'd love to feature your group here! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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