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SXSWedu Preview: Empatico Is Connecting Classrooms Around The World

empatico-sxswedu-top SXSWedu Preview: Empatico Is Connecting Classrooms Around The WorldIntroduce Your Students To The World With Empatico

When I was in the fifth grade I remember our teachers connecting us with Pen Pals in England. This was the old fashioned way of course, involving paper, pen, envelopes and stamps. We were so excited as we started receiving letters back from our pen pal class, typically 3 or 4 weeks after we sent our original letters out. This was a great experience both socially and academically. It paved the way for my interest in hosting exchange students.

Today’s classroom technology should mean that it’s much easier to connect with classes in other countries in real time. Thanks to Empatico it is.

Empatico has set up a platform for global, collaborative, real time learning between two classes using technology. Now, thanks to Empatico, an English class in Chicago can spend time learning together, with a class an English speaking class in the UK, Scotland or South Africa.

Empatico facilitates both the technology and the educational activity. The company has come up with a handful of great 40 minute lessons and activities that allow students to learn together and explore each others culture. The activities are designed for students ages 7-11 and include “Ways We Play”, “Community Cartographers”, “Helping Hands”, and “Weather out the window”. Empatico is constantly adding to it’s standards based lesson library and improving their technology.

The entire process is very easy:

  • Teachers start at empatico.org.
  • Teachers pick a few standards aligned activities they want their students to learn and enjoy.
  • Teachers than note their classes availability on a calendar/schedule.
  • Teachers hit the “get matched with a class” button.

Then voila. Empatico will match that teacher’s class with another English speaking class abroad, that has the same availability and activities selected. From their, the two teachers can collaborate in real time using a chat or video chat tool and nail down the particulars of their shared class. When the time comes for the class students in both classrooms will be able to see and hear each other.

Empatico has even included a technology testing tool where teachers can test their classroom’s tech setup before it’s time for the actual class. This means that when it’s class time the entire time can spent learning and interacting with those other students abroad.

You can learn more about Empatico at SXSWedu in Austin, March 5-8th in the Learning Expo, booth 434, and online at empatico.org

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  • Christina Bruno

    Thank you for sharing, Andrea! In addition to making global connections, we also connect classrooms within the U.S. Many teachers and their students have found this to be a great opportunity to learn about different communities and cultures within their own country!