Students Around The Globe Build Empathy Through A Learning Platform
Empatico is a free online learning tool, funded by the KIND Foundation, that matches classrooms around the world for a cultural exchange
Since October of last year, there is an online learning tool available for the classroom, focused on building empathy by connecting students ages 7 to 11 with their counterparts in different countries. Funded by the KIND Foundation, Empatico matches classrooms across the globe and has students participate in eye-opening activities that allow kids to share their stories and learn about different perspectives.
The results have been so positive that this year, Empatico won Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas award for general excellence. “While in-person global interaction among children is hard to achieve at scale, we are fortunate to have technology that can connect classrooms living worlds apart,” KIND founder Daniel Lubetzky said. “Empatico will leverage technology to take kids out of their bubbles, give them an opportunity to tell their stories, and learn with and from other kids.”
Empatico plans to expand to teach more age groups, but these initial ones were chosen for a reason. “During this sensitive period, children are beginning to understand their identities in relation to others, and their biases have yet to become deeply rooted,” Lubetzky told Fast Company. “If we can intercept students at this moment, and give them opportunities to meaningfully interact with one another, we can create a lifetime of positive change.”
The tool is completely free, and only requires that classrooms have access to a computer, internet and a webcam. The idea is for teachers to log on and complete the same activities at the same time, while the students engage with one another through the webcam. The activities are designed to show the differences and similarities between cultures and countries.
As of 2018 there are more than 600 classes registered across over 50 countries and territories, and the goal is to reach 1 million students by 2020. The software is currently available in English, but a Spanish translation is already in the works.