One of the discussion threads in the KidCast community is being used as a forum for teachers to meet others interested in participating in a "PodPal" classroom exchange.
A PodPal is podcasting's answer to traditional pen pal or educational twinning programs used to promote global cross-cultural exchanges, reading, writing, literacy, and dialogue among children.
Kevin, a school teacher from North Carolina, posted a terrific idea for a class "PodPal" exchange:
What a fantastic idea Kevin!
"You know, I was thinking that a Spanish Class in the States could link up with an English Club in another country and they could translate each others messages.
The English Club would relay the message back to check for accuracy and then send their own message and so on and so forth. Seems like a cool way to spark interest, hear authentic language/accents, and bring the student that much closer to the culture."
Participation in a PodPal program is a great way to weave technology skills into your social studies, geography, or language arts curriculum. You can use "traditional" podcasting technology, or you can use a web-based voice messaging tool like YackPack. Remember, you can easily embed YackPack into your class web site or blog!
But what makes a PodPal program so unique is the ability of the human voice to convey emotion that postcards, letters, or even pictures.