Students learn about international culture by connecting with peers online

Illinois middle-schoolers in an international studies class connect with their peers in Norway, France and Canada through free videoconferencing software and social media. Recently, eighth-graders talked with their “keypals” in Norway, asking about holiday traditions, favorite sports, YouTube videos and Norwegian language and customs.

— Thirteen-year-old Colleen Lance asked Alexandra Tenneboe what her favorite holiday was and what food she liked to eat on that holiday.

Alexandra said it was Christmas, and she liked eating pinnekjott, which is a popular dish in Norway. She described it as dried ribs with an array of spices.

“OK, you are making me hungry,” Colleen said with a laugh and a smile. “I also like Christmas.”

Colleen told Alexandra that she enjoys eating ham, potatoes and cookies on Christmas.

It was a typical interaction between two teen friends — who happen to live about 7,000 miles apart…”

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