Ed Tip: Connecting to Learning Partners Beyond Your Classroom

Connect your students to digital learning partners and pen pals outside of your physical classroom.

Grades K-12 2 min Resource by:
Listen to this article


When students are connected to an authentic audience, learning becomes more real to them. They also often become more motivated and shift their desire for excellence from getting a good grade to pleasing their audience. Through the use of technology, teachers now have more ways than ever to connect to other classrooms and audiences all around the world. Consider these ways to connect your students and set up potential learning partners or pen pals beyond your classroom.

Digital Connection Tools

A few tools that can be leveraged to help support these efforts are:

  • Videoconferencing
  • Blogs and Online Discussions
  • Email

Online Directories

Here are six different options to help with connecting your class to learning partners beyond your own classroom:

Integration Ideas

There are countless ways that you can use these virtual relationships in your classroom. For any integration, it’s best to begin with your standards and find authentic ways to support them through these interactions. Then, develop conversation topics and objectives for shaping discussion prompts that support your academic goals. If you are using problem-solving sites, like The GLOBE Project or TIGed, your academic objectives will largely be set up for you. However you ultimately proceed, it is always a good idea to create interest and engagement up front before students connect with these outside resources. It’s equally important to have students debrief afterward.

How can I learn more?

For more information about connecting to learning partners beyond your classroom, explore the AVID Open Access article, Develop Global Collaborators: Connect Your Students to Classrooms Around the World.