Step 2: Meet Each Other
• Use technology to meet a partner class located in another community
• Learn about a different community and new friends’ unique identities, experiences, and interests
After students participate in a self-disclosure question-and-answer activity, during which they take turns sharing information about themselves, research shows that they experience greater feelings of closeness with their partners. During the exchange, educators should encourage students to practice diplomacy, inclusivity, and collaboration as they use compassionate and active listening skills to ask questions, share their stories, and relate to others' feelings and experiences.
To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.
1. On the day of your scheduled exchange, start the meeting by using Empatico’s built-in Zoom integration, or the video tool that you previously selected. Remind students of the communication and behavior norms that you previously established, and how they should show kindness and respect to their new friends. Consider how you will model these norms for students as you interact with your partner educator.
2. Start the video call by greeting your partner educator, and express gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to connect with each other. Then, facilitate an introduction between students in both classes. You might have them introduce themselves, and share about their class grade, school, location, and/or a fun fact about their community.
3. Consider starting with a warm-up activity, such as “Let’s Get Moving” or “Would You Rather?”, to help decrease any nervousness around meeting new friends.
4. Invite students to ask the questions they prepared for their partner classmates, and encourage them to share fun facts and stories about themselves. Make sure that students in both classes participate equally, and celebrate behaviors that show respect and other strengths, like empathy, thoughtfulness, and humility. For example, express gratitude when students actively listen and thoughtfully respond to each other during their conversation.
5. End the exchange by asking students to thank their partner class for sharing a part of their day with them, and for the opportunity to get to know each other a little better. Then, students can say “goodbye” and express excitement for meeting again during your next virtual exchange together!
If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...
Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call.
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.
If students in either class don’t have individual devices...
Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.