The Newest Cultural Learning Experience by Empatico
Founded in 2017 by Daniel Lubetzky, Empatico is the latest technology that joins together culture and people for an experience
Founded in 2017 by Daniel Lubetzky, Empatico is the latest technology that joins together culture and people for an experience that celebrates learning with classrooms around the world. This Free platform offers a way for children and teachers around the world to connect with one another and further understand different cultures and ideas of learning and teaching.
Empatico’s Managing Director, Naomi Downey explains the platform is “a way to connect kids around the world by providing them with an opportunity to travel without leaving the classroom”. The platform can be accessed from any laptop or computer with accessible WIFI and has endless tools to ensure your experience on Empatico is smooth and effortless. The Platform has announced its connection with 161 Countries, 60,000 students who have participated, and 42,435 registered educators who stand behind this experience.
How Does it Work?
The Platform could be comparable to Zoom or Skype but offers much more than a simple video interaction. More than simple face-to-face video in real-time, Empatico offers a complete classroom experience with tools, structure, schedules, chat rooms and suggested classes to converse with and activities to complete as two classes joined together. Here is the rundown of the perks and what you, as an educator should consider when deciding to use the platform.
- Choose Your Partner Class – Step one takes the educators through a list of questions such as the ages in the classroom and the schedule of the classroom in a typical week. Once you answer these questions Empatico will scan through its database of all the other educators who have answered the same question for their classroom and suggest the classroom, teacher, and country that best suits your classroom’s age range of students and schedule.
- Educators Connection Tool – As an educator, you will want to meet or chat with the teacher/classroom you have selected to share with your students. Empatico makes this easy with a built-in instant messaging board that can be used to exchange texts and emails on the platform. You may also opt for notification when a fellow educator is trying to communicate with you from the platform. The platform also contains a folder feature where fellow educators can share links, videos, class schedules, and pictures back and forth.
- The Experience for Students – The next step after becoming acquainted with your fellow educator is setting up a live video call, the highlight of the platform. Empatico guides educators through appropriate classroom activities with a classroom in a different country and culture through the Teacher Resources section that provides tips, lessons, and universal topics to discuss as two classes joining as one. Finally, your class will schedule a live video chat the requires very little action from educators with Empatico’s built-in streaming system. The system will check the audio, video, and internet connection for educators.
Who is the Platform for & What is the Benefit?
The platform is offered to classrooms and educators all around the world, specifically classrooms between the ages of 6-11. The Platform itself defines who their target individuals are by allowing teachers free access to the program along with a compelling statement of why Empatico should be used going forward in school. The platform opens up the world of cultural experience for children and teachers that otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity.
How can the Platform impact a greater range of ages you may ask? Empatico will be launching “The Great Empatico Expedition” which will offer a similar system to the elementary level and lower secondary grades. Great Empatico will aim to accomplish the same goal as Empatico through joining together cultures while implementing development in SEL skills, creativity, curiosity, and compassion for fellow students.
The potential for the platform to impact schools as well as all individuals is present in this platform and the team is up for the challenge.
The Tough Questions Asked and Received
As we talked with the creators of Empatico, the question of “is this platform making students less conformable with face-to-face interaction and even more dependent on technology?” This question questions whether our society is getting too comfortable with interaction through the internet and media platforms and less with good old fashion real-life experiences.
Empaticos Managing Director Naomi Downey has the perfect response for this question and tackles an unfortunate reality that Empatico can eliminate. “Millions of people do not have the opportunity to see new places, meet different types of people, or learn about other cultures. While technology has come a long way in connecting us and bridging this gap, it can also stifle meaningful conversations and social interaction. Empatico is working to expand the boundaries of learning, creating shared and engaging interactions for educators and students. The virtual Empatico exchange helps build connections that may not be otherwise possible, but beyond the screen, the learning and reflection that happens within a classroom after the exchange deepen the learning experience beyond just another video call.”
Will, this experience make children more dependent on the internet and less socially interactive? Because Empatico is an educator-run platform, the interaction is not a passive screen experience. The platform is built as a tool that can be added to a routine learning day at school by a simple exchange of conversation and activity through a screen. Children who would never be able to meet, ask each other questions, or partake in a school activity together will have the chance through Empatico.
Empatico invites users to utilize the activities and tools to add to a day of education in a unique way. The team’s goal from the users first use of the platform to closing the day out is that the integration of the platform enhances students learning and interest in the world, become connected with other students in a meaningful way, value working as a team with students different from you and create new leaders who have learned the value of diverse communication.