One Globe Kids

One Globe Kids is a social technology intervention that simulates inter-group friendship. The program uses technology to create an imagined contact experience that aims to increase empathy, reduce prejudice and the anxiety of interacting with others, and develop other socioemotional and cross-cultural skills.
2009United States of America

CEI Plus Status

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Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

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One Globe Kids is a social technology intervention, created and managed by Globe Smart Kids, Inc., that simulates inter-group friendship. The program uses technology to create an imagined contact experience that aims to increase empathy and reduce prejudice and the anxiety of interacting with others. The theory behind the app is that imagined contact, a form of indirect intergroup contact, can positively change attitudes and behaviour towards people in other groups. 

The program uses technology to create a simulated interaction experience that sparks imagination and is appropriate and safe for children 4 – 10 years. The materials help children experience having friends across geographic, linguistic and other boundaries that may otherwise be difficult to cross. One Globe Kids works with real children and families around the globe to create simulated interactions, bases their product design on published imagined contact research, and targets young children at a time when implicit bias is known to develop, but is usually too early for a traditional prejudice-reduction intervention.

The materials are available for children and their caregivers in the form of the One Globe Kids iOS app as well as for schools and teachers as the Globe Smart Education 1 iOS app and Online Friends platform.  The app is available worldwide, but the highest number of downloads in 2014 were in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Australia, Canada and France.  Materials for children are in available in English, French and Dutch, and include:

Stories: Each story, told child-to-child with photographs, is developed to help children feel as though they have made a new friend and draw connections between their life and that of others.  Each story has more than 100 images and child-recorded audio to make the interaction as real as possible. Children can join their friend as they get ready in the morning, play with friends and family, have dinner, go to school, etc.

Play: Interactive features that try to create the feeling of a proximity and familiarity between the user and their new friend. Children decide where the story goes next, put themselves and their friends on a globe, try speaking new languages, share their own story, and listen to the recordings.

The Globe Smart Education app is designed for use by teachers and students in a classroom setting.  It includes the same imagined contact story approach as the app for children, as well as additional materials that enable educators to infuse language arts and literacy subjects with a global perspective.  For each location (Haiti, Indonesia, New York City, The Netherlands and Burundi), the app includes a teacher guide with background information on the location, discussion themes, and activities appropriate for individual, small group and large group work.  The materials can be used to encourage 21st century skills such as social and emotional intelligence, perspective-taking and creative and adaptive thinking.  Education materials are currently available only in English.

Teachers have participated in pilots of the program, where the stories were found to be useful tools for shared reading and could be used to start conversations in the classroom about topics like empathy, tolerance and inclusion. The organization has worked with schools in the US, the UK, and the Netherlands.

The app has been recognized by several reviewers, including being listed by Scholastic as one of the 6 awesome apps for social studies, and as one of the 50 awesome apps for teachers.  The One Globe Kids app is free to download and comes with one story, Valdo in Haiti. Every additional story is $1.99 each. The Globe Smart Education app includes 8 stories and teacher support materials. 

One Globe Kids uses technology to create a simulated interaction experience between children around the globe, that is available for use by children, caregivers and teachers in primary schools.Keeping up with changing technology; using technology for social interaction; adapting to schools that use technology in different ways; ensuring access to students who do not have tablets; ensuring safety for children.

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