I chose the epals website for my lesson. It gave my students access to a classroom located in the Ukraine, a location none of my students are familiar with, or have ever heard of. Epals made communication with students easy. The email component made the time difference workable, while the epals forum made finding a classroom looking to hook up with another class that fits a learning goal easy.
The learning activities included researching the Ukraine via the web, creating questions to ask students from a middle school Ukrainian classroom learning the English language, preparing an email to send to a pen pal, proofread and send it. Upon receiving a reply, students would summarize what they have learned by the answers they received and prepare a reply. Upon completion of the activities, students would prepare a presentation of their understanding of some aspect of life in the Ukraine. Students would be able to spend about 90 minutes per week in class when the laptop cart is available.
I really liked the epals website as well. I think it is very student friendly and very manageable to use. I just think it is great to be able to extend the students minds outside of the culture that they are familiar with. I too used epals but with a school in Africa. This was a place they were familiar with, but had a lot of misconceptions about.