With millions of classrooms moved home for remote learning around the world, we know many educators, students, and families may need help finding ways to combat social isolation and stay connected. Empatico has always been focused on creating opportunities for connection, and we are eager to continue this work in a new reality of remote learning. While a classroom to classroom video exchange may not be possible right now, connecting through Empatico can still be a great opportunity to learn how other communities are approaching or defining “learning” during this time as well as a great way for students to stay connected with each other while physically apart.
Here are three ways teachers and students can use Empatico to continue exploring similarities and differences while learning from home.
1. Create a short video message to update your partner class about how you’re doing. Let them know when and how your school responded to public health concerns, how you and your students are keeping in touch and continuing lessons during this period, and perhaps most importantly, how you are taking care of yourselves and your communities. You can upload the video to the “Staying in touch” folder we’ve created for you in the Shared Folders section of your dashboard.
2. Ask your students to send you a photo or short story reflecting on how their life has changed during this time. You can share the photos with your partner class in the “Staying in Touch” folder. Some questions and ideas you can use as prompts for your students are:
- What is the same and what is different in your daily life?
- How are you keeping in touch with friends and family?
- How are you celebrating special occasions like birthdays and holidays?
- What does your new “classroom” look like?
- How do you stay healthy at home?
- What is something inspiring or something you love?
3. With your partner teacher, match up your students to be virtual pen pals. Use Empatico’s messaging feature to forward each student’s message, or share email addresses (with parents’ and your school’s permission) so students can communicate directly with each other. Refer to our pen pal letter guide for more guidance.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments or concerns, or if you’re looking for resources and ideas to facilitate remote teaching. Stay tuned for more activities, resources, and support groups from Empatico soon.
We appreciate how resilient and creative educators, families, and students have been during this difficult time, and thank you all for being such valued members of the Empatico community.
– The Empatico Team