On Twitter a few weeks ago, I came across a tweet about a site called Postcrossing.com that caught my interest. As a Social Studies teacher, I basically had to sign up once I started to check it out!
Here’s the premise. It’s basically a post card collecting service from all over the world. Think stamps or coins but with a more personal touch. It reminds me a bit of pen-pal type services that I was part of as a kid, except that the “communication” part seems to be quite a trivial aspect of this operation–it’s more about the card than the message.
Here’s roughly how it works. When you sign up for the site, you create a bio–some are quite elaborate. When you are ready to send a post card, you request an address from the site. They send you an email with an address to send to, the bio of the person ( or group) that you are sending to, and special code. When your post card with the special code reaches the recipient, they enter the code on the website to register it as sent/received. Once you have successfully sent one post card (when the special code has been registered), the site then releases your name and address into the system and someone will be sent an email with your particulars and a code to send a post card to. You can basically have 5 postcards in the system at once; you can request another address when one of your sent cards is registered.
My big dream is that my homeroom class (TAG) will catch on and that they will help me compose the postcards and plotthem on a world map. Well, hopefully I’ll have at least one student from the bunch who is as passionate about geography and maps as I am.
So far, I’ve sent 3 postcards (Russia, Germany, USA) and one has been registered (USA) in the system, so hopefully soon, someone will be sending a postcard my way. Getting them actually sent was a bit of a production:
- It took me a few stops to find post cards, but I finally found some at the Medicine Hat Lodge gift shop–about 3 for a dollar. Some were of Medicine Hat, some of southern Alberta. I stocked up so that I could keep sending without having to run for postcards every time.
- Stamps……well that is where my excitement got rained on a fair bit. It turns out that it costs $2.50 to buy an international stamp in Canada, so this fun quest turned expensive fairly quickly. Guess I’ll have to pace myself.