Learn More About the Empathy Project
Ultimately, what I was trying to uncover is if we could use our burgeoning online skills and tools, along with growing internet access, to connect students to people and experiences outside their own bubble. And, in doing so, if we could nurture the types of inter-cultural empathy and cooperation that the 21st Century workplace demands.
The design and implementation of my research project began with extensive literature review to uncover varies methods to measure the concepts of empathy and cultural curiosity. Next, I studied and built different types of lessons that could potentially support those skills. Utilizing the measurement methods I uncovered, I was able to measure both baseline and post-session levels of empathy and cultural curiosity.
For a deeper dive explore the links below and to the right.
Found in this Section
Use the links to the right to delve deeper into the various resources and materials used to plan and execute my action research. At each link you'll find:
Lessons - Here you'll find details and resources used when building the lessons created for each of the two rounds of lessons performed.
How-Tos - This section contains links and resources for utilizing the various apps, analysis, and presentation tools utilized throughout the study.
References - The references page includes a list of sources that played a role in the inspiration, development, and interpretation of my study and findings.
Assessment - The effort to collect data and extract meaning from that data was enabled by the adoption and slight adaptation of established measurement tools and scales. Learn more here.
Through the course of the research, the lessons, discussions and activities conducted spanned various standards and frameworks utilized to ensure quality instruction and effective learning for all children. Standards addressed in this study include 5th grade CCSS Language Standards, ISTE Standards, elements of the CASEL SEL Framework, as well as emphases on competencies found in the TPACK and 21st Century Skills guidelines. Information about each of these can be found on the Standards page, here.
Apps & Other Tech Tools
Over the recent past, the universe of digital and online communication, collaboration, and expression tools has expanded at an exponential rate. And, due to the range of virtual and hybrid schooling the word was forced into by the COVID-19 pandemic, both teachers and students have quickly developed a greater fluency with those tools. After considering and exploring various options for each use, I settled on the following tools to provide the technical foundation for my study.
Another choice based primarily on convenience and familiarity, Google Classroom was utilized as the course management platform for this study. As both partner classes were already familiar with and set up on Google Classroom, it provided an easy centralized location for sharing materials, accessing files, and tracking work.
The ease of collaboration provided by the Google suite of applications, as well as the fact that both school districts involved in this study had already adopted the platform, made Slides and easy choice when considering online collaborative tools. Due to its versatility, Google Slides was used in both sessions in conjunction with a different integrative partner app each time.
You know how sometimes the limited templates provided by Google Slides just don't feel right? Or you want to build a new slide but aren't quite sure how to do it? Slides Carnival can help. It offers a TON of well-designed, free templates for both Google Slides and PowerPoint. Within each template are a broad range of page templates, including the Venn Diagram template I used in my Session 1 lesson.
Since we were already working within the Google ecosystem for so many elements, and we were dealing with two classes joined virtually, it only made sense to utilize Google Forms for my data collection, organization and analysis. The ease of importing directly from the Forms survey document to a spreadsheet (Google Sheets) then export as tables or graphs as needed meant the workflow was simplified.
Pear Deck is a Plug-in available for use with Google Slides. It is relatively commonly used by teachers especially in virtual settings such as those most of us experienced during distance learning due to the pandemic. Pear Deck enables teachers to create interactive slides that enable students to answer questions, sketches, respond to prompts and polls, and much more. It also records and catalogs student answers for future review and analysis.