Make Connections

Connect with others who are different

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Connect with others via Skype/FaceTime on a regular basis; share what you have in common. Connect every week or two. Discuss a book that you all read, stories you write, or share hobbies. Find what is in common. This could be done in real time or asynchronously by sending videos.

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Photo of Emma Scripps

Hey Amy,

Neat idea. It makes me think about Skype in the classroom. Have you seen this?

I also like the concept to help students connect to students of different backgrounds. Wondering if there might be a discussion guide built out that's specifically aimed at supporting students to build empathy with whomever is on the other side.


Photo of Michael Schurr

Hey Amy, I wonder if you have seen Standing in the shoes of others by Ming Yaw Loo . It seems like you guys have similar ideas. You are talking about using digital experiences, while Ming is suggesting physical experiences. Might be cool to see how the two ideas mash up. Or, how you two can support each other as you develop you idea further. Just a thought!

Photo of Amy Tucker

Hi! I had not, but I just checked it out. Very interesting, and I'm going to ponder it a bit more over our school vacation. Thank you for connecting us!

Photo of Margaret Powers

Awesome Amy Tucker - this could lead to some very interesting discussions! Can you share more about how you imagine these conversations building empathy? What impact would this have on the class(es) that participated, both in that class and the larger school(s)?

Photo of Amy Tucker

I've been looking at Design Thinking a lot lately. One of the keys is to show empathy for others, and there are many challenges that involve getting to know and understanding others, then determining a need of theirs. Then students work to create something that can attempt to help with that need. Thank you for asking this, because it's helping me to build out some activities I would like to try with students right away.

So maybe my class will connect with a class in another country. We will begin by finding commonalities in daily life, hobbies, etc. Find out what brings us joy, maybe as a group, but maybe one-on-one? Then, in another step, we can ask about what challenges they have in daily life. The task then would be for each group/student to find a solution to something that is a challenge (or to increase the joy in the other's life) and share in another round. A challenge for us would be to understand that if we connect with those who are far less fortunate than my students, it may be more difficult for our guests to relate to the challenges we have (first-world problems). However, by realizing this, my students may be able to gain even more empathy toward others.

Photo of Lisa Yokana

Hi Amy
Thanks for contributing to the ideate phase! I wonder what types of prompts you could create to serve as conversation starters? I love the idea of using this with students in different cultures/countries. How would one handle language barriers? Or what if there was some kind of shared experience to reflect on? How might you build this idea out a bit? Let me know if you want help with this or have any questions and thanks again for posting!