Back in 1994, I started an experiment setting up email pen pals between my students in Japan and students in the US and New Zealand. While the internet was firmly in its booming period in the West, it remained fairly unused in Japan at the time. We got connections going between students in Hawaii and Alaska, but the whole thing fell apart due largely to lack of interest among the Japanese students, and desperate computer illiteracy among the students and the faculty. Too bad, really.
But it looks like I was a few years too early. The KeyPals club provides an opportunity for kids to make cross-border connections around the world. Pretty cool.