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Frequently Asked Questions:
Special Education Teachers

New to e-Buddies? Click here for a general FAQ!

  1. Why should I involve my students in e-Buddies?
    e-Buddies is a fun way to bring computer education into the classroom. Computers are such an integral part of society that having basic computer and/or Internet skills is almost a necessity. e-Buddies allows your students to learn about computers and using e-mail all while developing a friendship.

  2. What equipment do I need?
    You will need at least one computer with e-mail access that the students can use at least once per week. For a large group, it will be easier if there is more than one computer with e-mail access available.

    Each student will need their own e-mail address prior to applying to participate in e-Buddies. We recommend Gaggle.net; a safe, free, teacher-controlled e-mail service designed specifically for schools. Visit www.gaggle.net for more information.

  3. Who should I sign up?
    We want you to sign up as many people as you can! As long as the applicant is at least ten years of age and will have access to e-mail once per week, they can sign up!

    e-Buddies includes people with all degrees of computer knowledge. It is not necessary that your students work independently. We encourage parents, teachers, and support staff to provide as much help as necessary. However, please keep in mind that if the students need help with the computer; someone will need to be available each week to help them maintain their e-Buddies commitment.

  4. What is the commitment?
    Each participant agrees to e-mail his or her e-Buddy at least once per week for the duration of the school year.

    We understand that there may be a lapse of a week or more here and there. This is okay, provided that there is a reasonable explanation and it does not become a regular occurrence.

    Planned absences and vacations are also not a problem. If participants are not able to e-mail their e-Buddy more than two weeks, they should suspend their match through the e-Buddies Community found at www.ebuddies.org. In addition, as a courtesy to their e-Buddy, we do ask that each student inform their e-Buddy in advance that they will not have access to e-mail for an extended period of time.

  5. What precautions are taken to ensure the safety of participants?
    e-Buddies wants to ensure that our participants enjoy a safe and positive experience.

    • Best Buddies deems the information given in our applications to be confidential. Our application is on a secure server to prevent abuse, and we do not distribute or sell any of the information given by applicants to any third party.
    • We conduct background and reference checks on all participants. We verify social security numbers and check state sex offender registries or perform criminal background checks. We also contact at least two references for each applicant. Best Buddies reserves the right to reject any applicant or participant at any time for any reason.
    • We prohibit in-person contact and the exchange of home addresses, e-mail addresses, instant messaging addresses, and phone numbers. We also match our e-Buddy pairs as far apart geographically as possible to further discourage in-person contact.
    • Once applicants are matched, all of their e-mails are exchanged through the e-Buddies e-mail system. All e-mails are sent to a common address and then forwarded to the appropriate person. This provides further safety measures as participants do not share their personal e-mail address with their e-Buddy. Although Best Buddies staff does not read every e-mail exchanged, we do review them randomly and in case of a break in communication or reported problem.
    • We prohibit the transmission of information that is illegal or may be harmful. We also prohibit the exchange of file attachments over e-mail. See the e-Buddies code of conduct for more details.

    We do what we can to minimize risk, but we can't eliminate it. Therefore, please understand that participation in e-Buddies is at your own risk.

  6. What materials do I need to complete the application?
    You will need the following information in order to complete the application. It is helpful to have your students compile the necessary information prior to starting the application.

    • Name
    • Home address/Home Phone
    • E-mail address
    • Date of birth
    • If parental consent is required, contact information for a parent or legal guardian. If you have already received parental consent, please contact your e-Buddies staff person to notify them. Parental Consent forms are available here if you would like to use them.


  7. What happens once we complete the application?
    • Once an application is submitted, e-Buddies staff works on the screening process.
    • When an application is approved, the student will receive an e-mail notification that he/she has been approved. The primary group contact will also receive an e-mail indicating what members in the group have been approved.
    • The matching process is completed and the student is notified that he/she has been matched. The primary group contact will also receive e-mail notification when a member of their group has been matched in an e-Buddies friendship.
    • The e-Buddies friendship begins!


  8. If I have questions, concerns or problems, who do I contact?
    Please feel free to contact a member of our e-Buddies staff whenever you have questions, concerns or problems. Our staff members are only an e-mail away and are always willing to help. Click here to find the appropriate staff person to contact.



To find more e-Buddies FAQs, please click here.

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