Friday, 25 October 2013


A few months ago my interest was piqued by a tweet that kept popping up in my twitter feed. So, me being me, I followed the link and before I knew it I'd signed up as a member of Postcrossing. Never heard of it? Neither had I but the the basic idea is that random people around the world sign up to send postcards to  other random people around the world. If you're anything like me, the idea of regular 'fun' mail appearing my letterbox will be just too exciting to dismiss.

I won't go into the process BUT suffice to say that it's very easy. There's a degree of trust involved, but it's a bit of a self-selecting community so I'm ok with it. So far I've received 11 postcards from 10 different countries,  including Belarus, Japan, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the USA and I've sent postcards all over the world too.  You can check out my public profile here.

My current graphs
Aside from my own personal love of snail mail (who doesn't love getting a 'real' letter in the letterbox?) I'm excited by the idea of using this with my class next year (if I have one)! Imagine the possibilities... An authentic audience for student writing; a personal connection in geography; graphing of postcard origins/destinations in maths; potential sources of interest for history; integrating the project with student blogging; social responsibility... The list goes on. Even the Postcrossing website offers a range of incidental learning opportunities: each time I visit, I'm greeted in another language; there is an option to view a map showing all (or some) of my postcards; there are graphs showing breakdowns of my postcard origins/destinations. It's an absolute treasure trove.

I have considered how to ameliorate the possible child safety issues in using this with children, and would have the postcards delivered to my home address, never identify the school or children, nor use photos of us/the school as added layers of security. I'd also be checking it out with my site manager/principal first.

I don't know... Maybe it's because I'm just a kid at heart but I think this is such an exciting opportunity for a classroom. What other web 2.0 based opportunities can you recommend?

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
Standard 2.6 Information and Communication Technology
Standard 3.4 Select and use resources
Standard 4.4 Maintain student safety
Standard 4.5 Use ICT safely, responsibly and ethically

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