e-Buddies in Action!
Each month, we are happy to take the time to highlight a school or agency that is 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 Craig Goldsberry from San Bernardino Valley College WORC Program in California.
How long has your group been involved in e-Buddies?
The San Bernardino Valley College WORC Programís e-Buddies has been participating for about one year. It all got started when Michael Pearson came to one of our class meetings and introduced all of us to the e-Buddies Program. All of the students were very interested in getting involved. They were especially interested in meeting new friends on the Internet and communicating with them via e-mail. Actually, using the e-mail was a new skill for all of the students and having e-Buddies really helped all of the students learn so much more about computers, how to access information on the computer, and also how to access and communicate with friends via e-mail.
How many members are currently matched with e-Buddies?
Currently, we have 11 students in the SBVC WORC Program and 10 students have e-Buddies.
What are some key challenges you have faced and overcome?
Learning how to access the computer and the e-mail was the biggest challenge for our students. Many of our students do not know how to read or write independently. However, after several weeks of repetition in accessing the Internet and e-mail on the computer, the students are all very good at using the computer and sending/receiving e-mail to and from their e-Buddies and friends.
How do you make e-Buddies work with your group?
Sending an e-mail to their e-Buddies has become an integral part of their computer lab time. The students know that it is important to keep in contact with their e-Buddies, so we have made it the first activity that they do when they have their computer lab class. Many students also e-mail their e-Buddies when they have individual time in the library and they decide to go on the computers individually. If the students choose to share information with the other students in class, it gives all of the students a much broader experience by learning about many different e-Buddies exchanges and situations.
What have your group members gained by participating in e-Buddies?
Most importantly, the students have the sense that they have gained a friend. Having a friend over the Internet was very new to the students at first. But, now they all are familiar with the idea that they have friends who they see everyday, friends who they see once in a while, and friends who they talk to over the Internet via email. It has expanded their sphere of experience and broadened their concepts of the many different kinds of friends that they have in the world. It's been a wonderful experience and the students all look forward to getting their next e-mail from their e-Buddy.
Do you work with a group of e-Buddies participants? We'd love to feature your group here! Please contact us at email@example.com.
Letter from the Director | Ask Emerson | Best Buddies Spotlight | e-Buddies of the Month | Tech Corner | e-Buddies in Action! | e-Beat Archive