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Are you, or do you know of, teachers in China (with internet access) who want to join our new online penpal exchange project with 7th-12th grade students from Boston? This exchange will take place in a blog format rather than involving individual emails, so it will create a resource for students around the world looking to learn about student life in China and America.



- Lillie Marshall

Tags: China, exchange, online, penpal

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Have you chosen a blog site that won't be blocked in China? A recent ISTE webinar discussed the challenges of finding a web 2.0 site that is allowed. One website that is allowed is ePals. 

You can ask your Chinese partners to post photos, videos and podcasts on the ePals Student Media Galleries to share widely with others.

Here are some items already submitted by Chinese students to the site:

Good luck with your quest!

If you want to have pen pals rather than blogs, come to ePals and sign up for free SchoolMail accounts for your students. Many of the classes want to practice their English with native speakers and find the partner class through ePals.


Hi Rita!

Thanks for the follow-up! Indeed, we have hit a bunch of snags, and epals does seem like a good option. Is the whole thing free?



Many parts of ePals are free, and it doesn't have advertising (as some "free" sites do) to distract students.

Plan to attend an ePals 101 webinar that goes over the free offerings, from SchoolMail (for students), projects, global community of teachers, media galleries, online forums, etc. Sign up at: for a session.

ePals also sells a more powerful version of its email called SchoolMail365, and it is 100% erate eligible for US schools (who get erate funding).

ePals has also created LearningSpace, the most powerful and integrated online learning platform, incorporating blogs, wikis, digital lockers, forums, and more. This is 95% erate eligible in US schools. This is the platform used by the International Baccalaureate to connect their teachers and students worldwide.

I hope that helps in your connecting with schools in China!

Hello Lillie,

I teach  a senior elective course on India and China and I would like to find ways in which my students in St Paul Minnesota can engage in an online exchange with students in China. Age group 17-18 years.

Please email me at with a response. This interaction would be for the Fall semester in 2012.


Sushmita Hodges


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