FoundLocally will, once the 2000-2001 school year begins, be facilitating a Virtual Exchange Student Program.
This program is the first of its kind, and will foster exchanges of information and local culture between students in all age groups in the various parts of Canada
This program will enable a class to begin an exchange program with a class in another part of the country and enable individuals to share experiences about the world around them, using the Internet as a mirror of their community. More importantly, because classes are matched and exchanged, not just individual students, it becomes a shared experience, bringing students in a class closer together as well.
FoundLocally is developing a number of technologies to help facilitate this process. A bulletin board will be set up so teachers (on behalf of their class) can post an "Exchange wanted" and, which can be matched with other classes. Once teachers are satisfied that there is a good fit, then the students themselves would begin their exchange. Another bulleting board will be set up for teachers to share their curriculum enhancing experiences during the Program, and another bulleting board will be set up for students to post their learning experiences with others. A mailing list for the teachers will enable teachers to keep up to date on new developments.
We are currently soliciting feedback and guidelines from educators across Canada. It is expected that issues such as child safety & confidentiality, class matching criteria, curriculum recommendations will be addressed at this point.
FoundLocally is committed to providing a safe and effective learning environment for all concerned, and will develop this program to the highest safety and ethical standards.