ClassDojo’s App For Empathy
ClassDojo, one of the most popular technology tools in elementary and secondary education, is using its free mobile education app to teach students about empathy. ClassDojo uses a cast of “merry monsters” in games and video to create a friendly learning environment that promotes character, positive thinking, and empathy. The empathy “module” encourages students to interview and express gratitude to those in their communities who go unnoticed through the story of the monster Mojo, who, after becoming angry at his friends and kicking them out of a play he is directing, must try to understand how they feel so he can convince them to rejoin his cast before opening night. In a time when empathy is in decline — and the nation reeling from such a divisive presidential race — ClassDojo’s videos could not be more relevant.
“To live in our society, it’s important to be able to interact with people who have different beliefs and experiences than you . . .Empathy is a precursor to prosocial behavior. You need to be empathetic to be kind and caring toward others.”
ClassDojo partnered with Harvard’s Making Caring Common for the empathy project, which is the second installment in its recently-launched video series. ClassDojo cofounder and CEO Sam Chaudhary highlights the app’s ability to transcend the coastal tech boundary and appeal to users in more isolated and rural parts of the country — an accessibility evident in the tool’s reach to 90% of US students — as especially relevant to its empathy coursework. Although the app alone cannot completely resolve tensions related to diversity and division in the US, it opens the floor in classrooms for productive conversations around the topic and, by educating future generations, instills hope for measurable change to come.
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Image courtesy of PR Newswire.