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- Dec 2016
No sooner had the fifth graders in Jennifer Ellison’s reading class finished watching a series of videos about empathy than they came to her with an idea. They had noticed that when Ellison directed students to pair off and read with a partner, one student in particular, who is autistic, became anxious in the face of social pressure. "My class realized, we need a plan so that he feels comfortable," Ellison says. "That’s a lot of insight for 10-year-olds." They proposed a sticker-based system whereby reading partners are randomly assigned on a rotating basis. Now, Ellison says, "He doesn’t have that anxiety," because someone is always proactive about asking to read with him. A small change, perhaps, but a rewarding one for teachers like Ellison who entered the profession hoping to instill values like compassion and respect. And it was all precipitated by a short series of five-minute videos created by the education startup ClassDojo.
Class Dojo using videos to "teach empathy."