Teacher Resources

Tech Resources for Teaching Empathy

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It’s not breaking news that educators cover the academic essentials like reading, writing, and math on any typical school day. In addition to these subjects, they delve into science, social studies, art, and health. What may surprise some is the recognition that empathy is a crucial topic that deserves a place in the curriculum.

Empathy, the ability to connect with others by acknowledging their significant or important experiences, even when you may not fully comprehend those feelings, holds equal importance to core academic subjects.

It aids teachers in understanding the motivations behind a student’s behavior, enhances communication skills, and nurtures civic discourse. Numerous technological resources are readily available to assist educators in seamlessly integrating empathy lessons into their daily instructional plans.

Tech Resources for Teaching Empathy

1. One Globe Kids:

One Globe Kids offers both a website and an app that virtually transports kids around the world. Users can explore stories, accompanied by activities, to build connections with their “new friends.” While interactions are pre-recorded and lack real-time conversation, the platform allows users to practice languages, view authentic photos of children worldwide, and gain insights into their daily lives.

One Globe Kids promotes cultural appreciation, global knowledge, and open-minded attitudes. Free ELA Common Core lessons, available online and offline, add an extra dimension to the learning experience.

2. Who Am I: Race Awareness Game:

Recognized among the top 100 products for parents, teachers, and kids, Who Am I: Race Awareness Game is an engaging two-player educational game. It encourages responsible and open dialogue about race and diversity through questions and discussions about physical and racial identification.

The game offers insights into anthropological, historical, and psychological aspects of race, fostering an understanding of its development and impact on people’s lives. It serves as a valuable starting point for parents and teachers to initiate conversations and education about race.

3. Step In—Step Out—Step Back:

Developed by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Step In-Step Out-Step Back is a routine designed to instill a sense of responsibility for understanding social and cultural perspectives.

Students engage in stepping into someone else’s shoes, stepping back out to identify what they need to learn, and stepping back in to observe their own reactions. This activity facilitates empathy by encouraging students to consider different viewpoints and experiences.

4. Middle School Confidential:

Ideal for grades 5-8, Middle School Confidential is a graphic novel app that helps students identify emotions, reflect on personal strengths and weaknesses, see different viewpoints, and contextualize their own challenges. Classroom activities could include group discussions and writing alternative endings to scenarios explored in the app. End-of-chapter quizzes provide opportunities for further class discussions on navigating the challenges of middle school.

5. Avokiddo Emotions:

Designed for preschool and kindergarten, Avokiddo Emotions is an entertaining and educational app that helps young learners identify emotions through facial expressions and reactions to stimuli.

By making predictions about characters’ responses to changes in scenes, students develop empathy by understanding emotional cues and recognizing others’ feelings in different situations. Teachers can enhance the experience by having students use props to create their own scenes.

6. Spent:

Geared towards grades 7-12, Spent is a text-based, choose-your-own-adventure website that prompts players to make decisions based on real-life scenarios, such as unemployment and financial challenges.

By simulating tough choices adults face, students gain empathy for their parents and community members. The game encourages a broader perspective on life choices and fosters an understanding of the challenges people may encounter.

Teaching empathy is crucial for broadening students’ perspectives on others’ circumstances, behaviors, and hardships. Incorporating these websites and apps into lessons can help educators guide their students in developing empathy, fostering better relationships with friends and community members in return.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is teaching empathy important?

Teaching empathy is crucial for fostering understanding and connection with others. It helps students develop a broader perspective, appreciate diverse experiences, and build meaningful relationships, contributing to a more compassionate and inclusive society.

What is One Globe Kids, and how does it promote empathy?

One Globe Kids is a website and app that allows children to virtually travel the world, exploring stories and activities with peers from different countries. It promotes empathy by facilitating cultural appreciation, global knowledge, and open-minded attitudes through interactive and engaging content.

How does the Who Am I: Race Awareness Game contribute to empathy education?

The Who Am I: Race Awareness Game is a two-player educational game that encourages open dialogue about race and diversity. Through questions and discussions about physical and racial identification, the game offers insights into the historical, anthropological, and psychological aspects of race, fostering understanding and empathy.

What is Step In—Step Out—Step Back, and how does it nurture empathy?

Step In—Step Out—Step Back is a routine designed by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It nurtures empathy by guiding students through steps of imagining another person’s experience, identifying what they need to learn to understand it, and observing their own reactions. This process encourages responsible consideration of social and cultural perspectives.

How can Middle School Confidential be used in the classroom to promote empathy?

Middle School Confidential is a graphic novel app suitable for grades 5-8. It helps students identify emotions, reflect on personal strengths and weaknesses, see different viewpoints, and contextualize their challenges. Teachers can encourage discussions and creative activities, such as writing alternative endings to scenarios explored in the app.

What is Avokiddo Emotions, and how does it aid empathy development?

Avokiddo Emotions is an app designed for preschool and kindergarten students. It helps them identify emotions through facial expressions and reactions to stimuli. By making predictions about characters’ responses to changes in scenes, students develop empathy by understanding emotional cues and recognizing others’ feelings in different situations.

How does the website Spent contribute to empathy education?

Spent is a website aimed at grades 7-12, offering a text-based, choose-your-own-adventure experience. It simulates real-life scenarios, prompting players to make decisions based on challenges like unemployment and financial constraints. Through this experience, students gain empathy for the difficult choices adults face, fostering a broader perspective on life choices.

Why is it important to incorporate tech resources into empathy lessons?

Tech resources provide interactive and engaging platforms for students to learn about and practice empathy. They offer immersive experiences, allowing students to explore different perspectives, cultures, and emotions in a dynamic and accessible way.

Conclusion

Integrating technology into empathy education offers innovative and engaging ways to cultivate understanding, compassion, and a broader worldview among students. The highlighted tech resources, such as One Globe Kids, Who Am I: Race Awareness Game, Step In—Step Out—Step Back, Middle School Confidential, Avokiddo Emotions, and Spent, provide diverse approaches to teaching empathy across various age groups.

These resources go beyond traditional methods, offering interactive experiences that immerse students in different cultures, perspectives, and emotional scenarios. Whether through virtual travel, open dialogues about race, or simulations of real-life challenges, these tools contribute significantly to the development of empathy skills.

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