Empatico Blog | October 1, 2018

When students learn to look from the perspective of others, think critically, communicate respectfully, and cooperate, they are equipped with the skills to succeed in an interconnected world and navigate their differences with curiosity and kindness – in the present and for years to come.

What is perhaps most important to understand is that, at its core, empathy means feeling with the person and understanding their situation. It requires that we open our minds and become vulnerable enough to relate to others at deeper levels. It also entails acknowledging the other person’s humanity, that they are equally important as we are, and that their feelings are equally valid. When we do this, we can truly feel with another person and empathize with them. This process is what ultimately strengthens the connection between two individuals.

To visualize empathy in action, we’ll explore two stories from real teachers who use Empatico.

Results from our recent research suggest Empatico can help narrow the intergroup empathy gap. Students were more likely to practice empathy and recognize similarities with peers from different communities.

Whether you have just signed up or are on your 20th exchange, we hope you check out and enjoy what’s new on the platform!

You asked and we listened! In response to what has – by far – been the #1 piece of feedback since Empatico was created two years ago, we are delighted to announce our newest feature: match requests! Educators now have the ability to request a partner from a list of available classes.

What a week! Our team had a blast at ISTE 2019. Here are a few highlights from our time in Philadelphia

One of the many blessings of teaching where I do (just outside Montreal, Canada) is that we are not shackled by a lot of standardized testing and the emphasis on results that often accompanies it. Elementary level teachers are free to deliver the curriculum in ways that suit their students in a given year and […]

It is so rare that you get to be part of something that is both really fantastic and really important. If you are a teacher who works with kids with special needs, then this is one of those moments when your class can be part of something that truly is life-changing. This week, Empatico is […]

This is Part II of a two-part series on empathy across the curriculum. You can find Part I of the series, Empathy HERE. We asked arts educators from around the world this question: How do you teach empathy in arts classrooms? We heard from a music teacher, an art teacher, a classroom teacher, and a […]

We regularly hear from educators how important it is to develop empathy in children and that it must be a normal, constant part of school. This EdWeek piece summarizes it well: “For teachers, empathy is an indispensable tool of instruction, and arguably, the key attribute (beyond knowledge of content, pedagogy, and student development) to being […]

“People ask me all the time how I build empathy in the classroom. The answer is one day at a time, one experience at a time, with great intention, focus and practice.” – Wendy Turner, 2nd Grade Teacher In July 2018, eight months after Empatico launched, we hit an important milestone: 1,000 educators in the […]

Imagine if kids everywhere could discover what life is like for their peers across the globe… Spark Empathy Grants can help make that possible for your students. Whether your classrooms need new technology, your teachers are looking for an innovative professional development workshop, or you’re hoping to integrate more social-emotional learning into your curriculum, Empatico’s […]

The chaos of the morning begins. It’s 8:30. Students are arriving and beginning to unpack. As I’m walking around the room checking on students, making sure agendas are filled in and lunch count is taken, students are swarming me like flies with questions. The one question I hear over and over again is, “Are we […]

What does dog food have to do with Empatico? In the tech world, “dogfooding” refers to testing your own product as if you were a user to work out glitches and walk through the user’s experience. At Empatico, one of our amazing team members, Kelsey Todd, “dogfoods” our video tool by volunteering at an afterschool […]

“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.”   These famous words from rapper Eminem have played over my car radio more than a couple of times in the past seventeen years since their release. But lately, I can’t help but think about how the feelings described in these lyrics plague more and more […]

Reflection is a necessary, but sometimes overlooked, part of learning. It allows students and teachers to process experiences, refine their thinking, and deepen understanding. Reflection can take a variety of formats from journal writing, to individual student reflection, to group discussion. But one of the most effective and engaging ways to incorporate reflection exercises into […]

I’m Kathi, a Technology Integration Specialist working in Washington Township Public Schools, and I’m excited to share my story with you. Sometimes a great article or story has a backstory–a bit of history that makes the whole story more meaningful and more impactful to the reader. This is one of those stories. I believe this […]

Our administration is elated that a donation of this magnitude has provided our district with the gift of global connectedness. At this point, most of our teachers have signed up for Empatico, most have received the professional development they need to feel confident using the platform, and many have already completed a first connection […]

Using technology in the classroom to make global connections can benefit students in a variety of ways from improving learning through fun and engaging experiences to increasing student confidence in the use of technology tools. Although integrating technology in the classrooms can often be a great way to engage students and build their communication skills, […]

Cooperation is a foundational life skill for students to develop as they learn to navigate relationships in the classroom, at home, and eventually, in the workplace. Being relevant at every stage of life, it is no surprise that cooperation is recognized as a civic virtue in the U.S. National Curriculum for Social Studies College, Career, […]

The ability to actively listen and communicate respectfully with others can help students in everyday conversations as well as in developing meaningful relationships with their peers. This skill involves a number of nonverbal cues, such as eye contact, body position, nodding, and facial reactions, as well as the cognitive focus to listen and take turns. […]

The ability to understand another person’s perspective can help with students’ social skills and relationships within the classroom and beyond, which can have a profound effect on everything from classroom culture to individual student learning and mental health. Perspective taking is one of the first steps to relating to another person’s life experiences as it […]

Critical thinking is an essential skill in today’s classroom that not only benefits students’ academic learning but also supports social interactions and relationships as it is closely related to problem solving, perspective taking, and conflict resolution. Critical thinking helps students understand the difference between assumptions, opinions, and facts as well as how to investigate new […]

While it’s tough to claim that one can ‘teach’ empathy, educators can create experiences that help students exercise their ability to empathize with other people. In particular, educators can help students learn about their own points of view, appreciate different perspectives, think critically about different perspectives, and cooperate and communicate in a respectful, positive manner. Empatico activities incorporate each of these key skills to help educators and students as they practice empathy in the classroom.

Meeting peers from a new community or another country can be a fun and exciting way to introduce your students to the many different languages, cultures, and experiences that exist around the world. However, it may also be a new experience for you and your students, and meeting new peers who are culturally different can […]

Empatico eliminates the burden of finding intentional, goal-oriented activities for your primary classroom by offering nine completely free activity plans created specifically for partner classrooms to do together.

Focusing on SEL in the classroom can help students manage emotions and communicate respectfully and efficiently, which in turn can improve interpersonal relationships and reduce bullying. In the classroom and beyond, SEL helps students solve problems and demonstrate more prosocial behaviors such as kindness and empathy.

Virtual exchanges offer the opportunity for students to have deep, meaningful, and interactive conversations with their peers around the world, which can be especially important for those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to travel internationally. They teach us that even if geography separates us, people still share many similarities around the world.

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