Gaggle is a free program that offers secure e-mail addresses for students. Other features include chat rooms, discussion boards, blogs and even safe texting (so that teachers and students can text without publicizing their phone numbers). Gaggle will notify the administrator if inappropriate content is sent. Accounts can be created for teachers, students, and even parents. Gaggle also offers digital lockers for storing files, as well as assignment drop boxes.
ePals also offers free, safe e-mail for students and teachers. Additionally, ePals is a community which will facilitate correspondence between teachers to set up classroom pen pals. I have not used this service personally, but I did attend one of their free online webinars in order to learn more about them, and it seemed like a very exciting learning opportunity.
Jessica Pilgreen is a high school English teacher, a Piasa Bluffs Writing Project fellow, and a technology enthusiast. The main purpose of this blog is to help her keep track of all of the fabulous tools out there that she has encountered, but if she can help a few others along the way, that's good, too.