On Oct 15, 2006, at 11:32 AM, David Wells wrote:

I am looking for a safe pen-pal site for my daughter and her friends at my school.  She would like to find a pen pal from England.  

I would specifically like a site where she would not need to use her own e-mail address.

Any ideas?

Hi David,

(1) My first thought was the Global School Network ... though there are other similar projects. Like most of these sites, they are classroom, project based, and teacher supervised. 

Google suggested "ePals" ...

Global SchoolNet Foundation

ePALS Classroom Exchange
- maintains the Internet's largest community of collaborative classrooms engaged in cross-cultural exchanges, project sharing and language learning. ePALS is also the leading provider of school-safe emailTM, blogs, eMentoring and web-browsing technology for the global educational market.

One of the things you might do, depending on how old the students are, is have them conduct a search for a site that suits the guidelines you've set ... this might help them learn safe computing concerns in the process. 

(2) Most interenet mail services and sites don't require much in the way of "verification" [1], so you student can probably enroll as "Mamie Eisenhower", "Margaret Truman," or any other notable ... (Actually, it might be fun for them all to have the same "First Name" and different last names ... "Maragaret Washington, Margaret Adams, Margaret Quincy Adams, ... etc" Coming up with an appropriate online alias could also be a great project :)


[1] I once  did a survey of "ages" of "myspace" users, from public profiles. About 30% the users were 102 years old (exactly!), and less than 10% were under 18 !!.