The Flat Stanley Project is "The international literacy and community building activity for students of all ages, teachers and families." It started as an exercise of writing a letter and sending a "Flat Stanley" cutout to a friend or family member, sometimes asking them to send it to someone else with a letter and so on. There can be a notice that says "after this date please send back to" the student. There are many opportunities to teach writing with a purpose when engaging in a pen pal type activity, but recently teachers have begun to introduce new ways of conducting a Flat Stanley project. I have seen it done with email, on blogs, and even on a shared custom Google map.
I'm not sure how old the app is, but I think they must have just done a big update because I saw several people tweeting about it. There are a bunch of fun features for creating Flat Stanleys (and Stellas), taking pictures with a Stanley overlay, and sharing the pictures and text on a variety of social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. The app is a great example of taking something that was grounded in solid learning intentions and then integrating technology to enhance and expand the possibilities of that learning experience.
Header photo by Robert S. Donovan