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Recipient of Email Excellence Award, presented onboard RMS Queen Mary, one of TOP 100 EDUCATIONAL WEBSITES FOR 1999, chosen BEST BETS for Educators, named USA Today's HOT SITE.
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CLASSROOMS "DISCOVER AMERICA THROUGH POSTCARDS®"
Half a million students around the world are learning about the 50 states today in an exciting You-Are-There atmosphere. They're hitching a ride on the Information Superhighway at Postcards From America (www.postcardsfrom.com), accompanying Priscilla Rhodes, a former Massachusetts history teacher, and her husband, photographer Kenneth Rhodes. As they travel across the US in their trailer, nicknamed "Harvey the RV," they create "Live-at-the-Scene®" digital postcards and email them to directly the classroom's emailbox, taking the students on virtual field trip to a different state every week.
Similar to geography penpal systems of earlier classroom days, the couple delivers the same personal touch using a lighthearted postcard format to ensure a fun and memorable experience, while leveraging today's technology to bring more realism, more frequency, and more immediacy to the experience of sharing a state.
Like traditional postcards these digitally created E-cards feature a scenic photo on the front with a personal, handwritten message on the back. Each postcard is stamped with a customized "Email postage stamp" of state symbols, such as the State Bird, State Flower, State Tree, State Flag, and a famous person from the state. Clicking on "Stamp" launches a full-color enlargement of the state symbol, or the countenance of the famous person, including a brief biography. A special "Just for Teachers" webpage provides tips for using the postcards in the classroom and introduces ways to include parents in the adventure and learning experience.
"What makes this especially rewarding is that Postcards From America includes the whole family," said Priscilla. "Thousands of parents receive the Email postcard at work, giving them a brief escape from their workday while providing a wonderful 'teaching opportunity' for them when they get home. Parents tell us that topics may begin with the postcard, but leads to much more. They learn about each other as they learn about each state. The double benefit, of course, is that the classroom lesson gets reinforced at home."
Recently awarded USA Today's "BEST BET" for Education, and also chosen as one of the TOP 100 EDUCATIONAL WEBSITES FOR 1999 by EduSource.com and Looksmart, Postcards From America goes beyond the electronic postcard by offering supporting educational webpages, such as the "Fun Facts" page detailing each state's vital statistics, and including an unusual historic story; a Governor's webpage, featuring a personal note from 28 of the 50 state governors; a Maps webpage showcasing a colorful map of each state, and a state-by-state Travel Tips page for families who wish to use the site to plan family vacations.
The first year of the trip was a Capital Tour, an introduction to each state by covering every state capital and statehouse, the state's official "home." The following year will feature the "Wild Side" of the 50 states, such as state parks, national parks, forests, seashores and wildlife preserves. Postcards can be viewed at http://www.postcardsfrom.com.
Editor Notes: The website has received awards from the following organizations:
For more information, including testimonials and ready-to-print high-res graphics, go to http://www.postcardsfrom.com. Click on "Press Kit."
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