October 23, 2008
Educators Rapidly Embrace ePals Global Learning Community(TM) and Web 2.0 Technology to Transform Learning
HERNDON, Va., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the last 13 months, ePals, Inc., has seen a substantial increase in the number of educators passionate about using online learning methods and leveraging "social networking" technologies in their classrooms. Supporting this trend, adoptions of its free, award-winning, online Global Learning Community, evidence-based curricula and protected connectivity tools have grown significantly. In addition, ePals (http://www.epals.com/) was recently honored with a 2008 EDDIE Award for helping teachers around the world use technology to teach, engage and inspire their students.
"In the past year alone, thousands of schools, districts and educational organizations around the world -- representing millions of educators and students -- have joined ePals to safely collaborate through classroom connections," said Edmund Fish, President and CEO of ePals, Inc. "Increased awareness of safe and effective web-based learning tools, and ePals' decision to provide these services without cost to schools, are important factors in this unprecedented growth. Our members have told us they have chosen ePals because of a combination of a safe, purposeful learning environment; powerful communication tools enhanced for collaboration; meaningful learning opportunities designed to build reading, writing and problem-solving skills that are easily implemented in classrooms; and a large, diverse community of like-minded users so that classroom 'matches' can be global or local, but always productive. This combination makes ePals unique, satisfies user needs and delivers meaningful learning outcomes."This school year, the company has seen dramatic growth in the uptake of its community and the adoption of its protected connectivity tools and curricula-focused programs:
-- The ePals community now reaches more than 16 million educators and students.
-- Student registrations have increased nearly tenfold during the last 6 months.
-- The number of schools and districts adopting ePals has significantly increased in the past year -- more than 300 percent and 600 percent, respectively.
-- In the past 13 months, adoption of ePals SchoolBlogs has increased by more than 5,000 classrooms.
-- And, students from more than 40 states are now participating in ePals' curriculum-based e-mentoring program called In2Books(R). Available through the ePals Foundation to classrooms from under-resourced neighborhoods, In2Books builds reading, writing and critical thinking skills in students in a unique online program that pairs students with carefully screened e-mentors.
While much of this growth has been at the local level, ePals is seeing increased interest in its social learning network as U.S. educators establish objectives to meet National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) around global collaboration, which also are being adopted by several countries. As an example, the Kenyan Ministry of Education is enabling all of its students to use ePals to safely collaborate and connect worldwide. Additionally, the Calcasieu Parish School System in Louisiana and ePals are working together to implement train-the-trainer sessions to illustrate two types of activities: flexible learning activities, like those found in the ePals Global Learning Community, and more structured learning programs, such as In2Books that help educators teach digital literacy skills and global citizenship.
The largest and fastest growing social learning network, the ePals Global Learning Community was recently awarded a 2008 Education Software Review Award (EDDIE) from the ComputEd Gazette. Recognizing the company's advancements in developing high-quality educational software, the awards program deemed ePals.com the Best Multi-level Internet Communication Website.
For more information on ePals and company services, please visit http://www.epals.com/ or the corporate site, http://www.epalscorp.com/. In depth information about ePals' In2Books program can be found at http://www.in2books.com/.
About ePals, Inc.
Founded in 1996 and merged with In2Books in 2006, ePals offers K-12 students and teachers around the world a safe environment for building and exchanging knowledge based on protected connectivity tools, evidence-based curricula and authentic, collaborative learning experiences. The ePals Global Learning Community(TM) (http://www.epals.com/) is the largest online community of K-12 learners, enabling more than half a million educators and millions of students across 200 countries and territories to safely connect, exchange ideas, and work together. The company's mission is to support lifelong learning through collaborative experiences that empower and inspire. ePals is especially committed to enabling academically rigorous educational opportunities in economically disadvantaged environments worldwide through the ePals Foundation -- provider of In2Books, the company's flagship literacy e-mentoring program.
Web Site: http://www.epals.com/http://www.epalscorp.com/http://www.in2books.com/