Research a Project Empathy Partner School

Look through the list of Project Empathy partner classrooms around the world and pick one to work with for the creation of your first "bin." Bins are collections of digital content sent from space to our network of schools. We call them bins because they are the digital equivalent of a bin of books you might send to a school after a book drive. To best know what to put in your first bin, students should research their recipient school to better understand their audience. Students can even talk to their school on Twitter, which uses small enough quantities of data to work in the Internet-less places we operate. 

 

What students will learn

  1. The political, social, economic, and environmental conditions of a school in another country.
  2. The conditions that a subset of their global peer group live in on a daily basis.
  3. The gap between what information the school likely has access to currently and what information, in an ideal world, they would have access to.
 

Lesson topics

Local School Research

To become a good editor, you have to understand your target audience. There are already several schools in Malawi that have Project Empathy kits set up and are receiving content. Researching these schools and communicating with them on Twitter can help students get a better picture of what content they should send.

 
 

Look at our map of participating schools and decide on one to research. You can also review this list of active participants. New schools are added regularly and may not be added to the list right away, so please also tweet our local partner in Malawi, @shiftITmw, to get the latest scoop.

Students could break into groups and research a few schools or collectively research one. Because all Project Empathy transmissions go to every recipient school, there is some discretion here. Do the students want to create a bin of content that is specific for one school's needs or try to create a more generalized bin that all of the recipient schools would enjoy? That is an editorial decision that needs to be made and one that real editors need to make all the time: depth vs. breadth.

Once students have researched the schools, have them formulate some questions to ask them on Twitter. This would be like an editor of a newspaper asking their readers what type of articles they want to read. It is a rare opportunity to interact directly with an audience and fill in critical holes in what are otherwise editorial assumptions.

Students should present their findings to each other and ultimately complete a profile of their intended recipient, answering the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of the school, its students, their lives at school and lives at home.

 

Feedback

If you have additional materials that you think would add to this curriculum, please write to me, thane@projectempathy.co. This is a collaborative project and we hope that, through more participation, we can make it even better.