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e-Buddies in the Classroom

Since 1999, special education teachers have been successfully incorporating the e-Buddies program into their technology lessons. Computers are an integral part of society and by participating in e-Buddies, students can develop the skills necessary to become technology-literate and therefore able to compete for higher-level employment and to communicate using a variety of sources. e-Buddies is also a safe way to make a new friend and connect with someone across the country.

e-Buddies is free for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; there is no cost to sign your class up for this program.

Educational Benefits

The e-Buddies program is easy to add to any curriculum and can help you achieve multiple IEP benchmarks. e-Buddies is a fun and safe way for your students to make a new friend as well as develop skills in the following areas:

  • Computer skills
  • Communication skills
  • Reading and writing skills
  • Social skills

By adding e-Buddies to your computer technology lessons students are more motivated to learn. Students that are involved in e-Buddies are more interested in spelling and typing correctly. Instead of typical computer assignments, these e-mails go to friends and your students receive positive reinforcement by getting an e-mail in return.

Social Inclusion for Students

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are not always given the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships outside of their families and the people paid to support them. e-Buddies allows participants to connect with a peer in a one-to-one friendship. Often, after graduating from school, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have fewer chances for social interactions. The Internet can become the main way these individuals keep in touch with family and friends. By joining e-Buddies in school and becoming comfortable with communicating online, students are more equipped to stay social in the future.

Sign your class up for e-Buddies

To incorporate e-Buddies into your classroom you will need:

  • Regular access to computers with Internet
  • Time for each student to use e-mail at least once a week
  • A separate e-mail address for each student

Each student you sign up will be matched with a peer volunteer from elsewhere in the country. Once matched, they will be asked to exchange e-mails with their e-Buddy once a week for the duration of the school year. e-Buddies participants also have access to our online community where members can come together and discuss their favorite topics.

Click here for instructions on signing your students up for e-Buddies.


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