Sangmo English Circle
I spent most of 2010 abroad, teaching English to elementary students in South Korea. Their biggest challenge was one of isolation; they simply didn't have many opportunities to practice their English skills with native speakers.
To solve this problem, I partnered with a 6th grade teacher in the States to create Sangmo English Circle, a social network built on the Ning platform that empowered Korean students to interact with students in the United States.
The site served as both a social network for kids and a place to house teaching materials, like videos viewed in class.
It was also a place to display their artwork and projects.
Once instructed on how to create accounts, students from both countries began to create forums about universal themes.
Korean students practiced their English skills in a safe environment that mimicked a real world setting.
As it wasn't an academic requirement, the community was by all measures a success, attracting over a hundred middle-school aged kids. (As you can tell, K-Pop inspired screen names proved popular.)
For Korean students required to learn English, interacting with peers who speak English on a daily basis brought a human element into the classroom. For the American students, interacting with kids on the other side of the world fostered a global worldview.