Computer Skills Curriculum
Telecomputing Lesson Plan

Title: International Exchange

Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan English Language Arts 2.1, 2.2, 4.1; Social Studies: (Gr. 6) 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 4.3, 7.2, 7.3, 10.3; Information Skills 1.5; Computer Skills: (Gr. 6) 1.1

Grade: 6
Competency 1.1: Identify ways that telecomputing promotes a global community.

Measure 1.1.3: Participate in an exchange of electronic mail with students in a foreign country via a telecomputing project. Survey student attitudes and knowledge about the country before and after the exchange.

Materials Needed: An account on a telecomputing service that provides e-mail access to classes in another country; a computer with modem, printer, phone line, telecomputing and word processing software; two copies of the survey sheet for each student.

Time: Five class sessions

Terms: Telecomputing, Modem, Upload, Download, Bulletin Board Service, E-mail, Log on, Log off, Internet, Information Highway

Glossary of Telecomputing Terms
Grade 6 Glossary



  • 1. Monitor public message centers on a network that holds regular postings from foreign countries (call.espbbs on FrEdMail or Learning Link). Find a posting from a teacher in a foreign country and send that teacher a message explaining that you are looking for a class in a country other than the United States to participate in a simple project. Explain the terms of this activity and ask if the teacher would be interested in participating.


    Post a message to a public message center used by foreign educators. In the message explain that you are looking for a teacher in a country other than the United States to participate in a simple project. Explain the terms of this activity and ask any interested teachers to respond as soon as possible.

  • 2. Send your foreign teacher partner a message with the survey questions and ask that each student in that class complete the survey. Promise to do the same. Also establish a date to e-mail the essays to the partner class.


Day 1

  • 1. Explain to the class that millions of people around the world use computers to send messages to other people everyday.
  • 2. Hand out a copy of the survey sheet to each student in the class. Ask them to write the name of their partner classí country and to place a check by Before Exchange. Ask them to answer the questions based on their impressions of that country.
  • 3. When they have finished, take up the sheets and explain to the students that a class in the foreign country is also filling out a similar survey on the United States. Tell them that they are each to write an essay about the United States to be e-mailed to the class in the foreign country. Explain that the class in the foreign country is writing essays about their country which they will e-mail to the United States.
  • 4. Assign the students to begin writing an essay about life here in the United States. Explain that they should address the issues in the survey while writing their essay. Allow the class to spend the rest of the class period writing and ask them to complete their work for homework.
  • 5. While the class is writing, compile survey results. Then report back to the class the percent of students who said yes and no for the first three questions, and some of the answers that were given for the last two questions.

Day 2

  • 1. Have each student enter his/her essay into a computer using a word processing program, edit the essay, save it to disk, and print it.
  • 2. Take up the printouts, and proof each essay making editing suggestions. (Use the word processing editing chart for the Computer Skills Curriculum).

Day 3

  • 1. Return the reviewed essays to the students and have them make the edits and any other changes they would like using a computer and word processing. Ask them to re-print the essays and re-save them.
  • 2. Read the essays one more time before sending them to the foreign class.
  • 3. Batch the essays together into a single file and send the file to the foreign class through e-mail.

Day 4

  • 1. When the essays from the foreign class arrive, print them and distribute them to the class. Have the students read silently the essay they have received, and then pass it on to another student. Continue this for about 20 minutes.
  • 2. Re-administer the survey to the class having the students check After Exchange.
  • 3. When the class has finished the surveys, take them up, compile the results as before and then record both sets of results.
  • 4. Ask the class if they see any changes in their attitudes and knowledge about the foreign country after the contact by telecomputing. Ask them to explain.
  • 5. E-mail both sets of results to the foreign class.

Day 5

  • 1. When the new survey results have arrived from the foreign country, record them and the earlier results on the board. Ask the class if they see any changes in the attitudes of the foreign students after the contact by telecomputing.


Have students describe how global telecomputing affected what they thought about people in another country.