Apps for teaching empathy for the LGBTQ community

 

Game Title & Link Price Overview/Review Benefits to LGBTQ
Dys4ia Free Platforms on which the game is available:
Free website to use.

Suggestions for content use linked to content area standards:
This game could be used in a high school living environment class to talk more about the effects of hormone therapy on the body and the process of transitioning. This directly relates to the living environment performance indicator 1.2 which states “Describe and explain the structures and functions of the human body at different organizational levels (e.g., systems, tissues, cells, organelles).” (n.d.)

Math can also be incorporated to analyze how the dosage and amount of hormones that are given are based on characteristics of each individual. This could range from Algebra 1 inequalities and constructing equations to Algebra 2 where rational or exponential equations are written to represent the chemical breakdown of hormones in the blood stream.

This video game follows a character who is undergoing hormone therapy as a character begins to transition and take estrogen. This video game teacher’s empathy and the frustrations, biases, stereotypes, and political opinions that someone transitioning may face. Vocabulary such as gender dysphoria are used, exposing users to new vocabulary relating to the LGBTQI community.
SheBoard Free Platforms on which the game is available:
Available on the Google Play Store and on Android devices.
Suggestions for content use linked to content area standards:
The SheBoard app could be integrated into any English class to compare how stories and literature may be written using language that places men above women. This can highlight how word choice is used in literature and how the words we use can have hidden messages to children. For example this could involve students developing their knowledge of pronouns in 6th grade CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.1.A and the importance of using the prefered pronoun of individuals. Students in 11th or 12th grade addressing the standard CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.11-12.3 could identify how language functions differently in different contexts. The words we use can have different meanings at different times and may convey very different messages. Students can investigate into what their word choice or the word choice of an author means through this keyboard.
SheBoard is a mobile keyboard that highlights how gendered language is  and the gender stereotypes of females through the words we use. Research has found that girls are often referred to in a lesser sense at a young age. For example, instead of heros and inventors girls are referred to as princess reducing their power and attributes compared to boys. Predictive text can help to change what words we were going to use to ungender words or change the connotation so girls’ abilities are spoken to rather than appearances.  
Parable of the Polygons Free Platforms on which the game is available:
Website available to all devices.

Suggestions for content use linked to content area standards:
This could be implemented into math classrooms during the polygons units. Below is a list of specific standards that can be addressed. The first 3rd grade standard directly states for students to identify quadrilaterals that do not belong in a category. This could result in a discussion point where students and teachers talk about the classification that occurs with almost every part of society, specifically humans and the way we look and act. This could allow students to think about when we should classify into groups and when binary groups may not be needed.
3rd Grade

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.G.A.1
Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories.
5th Grade

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.G.B.4

Classify two-dimensional figures in a hierarchy based on properties.
6th Grade

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.G.A.3
Draw polygons in the coordinate plane given coordinates for the vertices; use coordinates to find the length of a side joining points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
High school geometry

Visualize relationships between two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSG.GMD.B.4

Identify the shapes of two-dimensional cross-sections of three-dimensional objects, and identify three-dimensional objects generated by rotations of two-dimensional objects.

The parable of the polygons game is an interactive website where students sort different polygons to explore the role of biases, and stereotypes that we see in our world today. This game can review how we are conditioned to classify and categorize people and objects. This website highlights how rigid categories can negatively impact an individual apart of the LGBTQI community who feels they do not fit within a strict category.
Everyday Racism Free Platforms on which the game is available:
Mobile app (Apple and Android Google Play)
Suggestions for content use linked to content area standards:
Social Studies/ELA for high school + (program recommends adult guidance if under the age of 18 due to possible confronting content)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.3

Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.7

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.B

Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.D

Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.

Everyday Racism is a game/education app, which challenges players to live a week in the life of an Aboriginal man, a Muslim woman, an Indian student or themselves.  The app will send the user different scenarios via text, email, video, etc. and the user must select how they (or the person they are role playing) will handle that situation.  
This game puts people in authentic situations and gives users an opportunity to think critically.  Users can also send a “challenge” to a friend that they think is in need of the app’s week-long experience.  
Currently, this app has profiles that fit racism in Australia, but there is huge potential in expanding to other profile types.  The main goal is to “walk in someone else’s shoes.” Even with a user navigating this app as a different race, the “take away” and “big picture” message is still there and can be applied to other walks of life.
80 Days $4.99 Platforms on which the game is available:
iOS, Mac, Steam, Windows

(PC and mobile devices)
Suggestions for content use linked to content area standards:

Social Studies/ELA (ages 12+)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3

Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.6

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Players get to travel an alternate universe in 80 days.  Along their travels they will encounter many characters that are different from themselves.  The game developers have included characters from a wide range of ethnicities, genders and sexualities.  
The goal of 80 Days is to create an engaging gaming experience that builds upon humanity and diversity.
The ethics undertones can easily go unnoticed by students, but teachers can easily capitalize on the content.  The game story is filled with content that can contribute to rich conversation and projects within the classroom that lend towards tolerance, acceptance, and humanity.
Middle School Confidential $2.99 Platforms on which the game is available:

iOS, Android, EdPad, Nabi EdZone
Suggestions for content use linked to content area standards:

Social Emotional Awareness, Counseling and ELA

RL.6 (3-6) Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first and third person narrations.

RL.7 (3-6) Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where wach version reflects specific descriptions in the text.

RL.11 (Grades 3-6) Recognize, interpret and make connections in narratives, poetry, and drama, to other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, personal events and situations (a) Self-select text based upon personal preferences.

Middle School Confidential is available under 3 titles, “Be Confident in Who You Are” is one of them. Users view a scenario of a related Middle School Topic to understand the characters dilemma. They Are then quizzed about how they would handle the situation or find the scenario relatable. This benefits students who may feel like outliers or who may be dealing with an internal conflict. It help them to understand that they are not alone and have options.
iCivics.org – Activate Free Platforms on which the game is available:

Google Chrome and Safari

Suggestions for content use linked to content area standards:

Social Studies, ELA, Counseling, Civic Engagement

RI.5 (3-6) Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, side bars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.

RI.7 (3-6) Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on a webpage) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.

RI. 8. (3-6) Explain how and author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.

RI.10 (3-6) By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts proficiently.

Students select an issue to take on and an avatar to represent themselves. They may choose to spread awareness of their issue, raise funds or pursue leaders. This game prepares students to take on real world issue and contribute towards solving them. These simulations equip students with the skills necessary to participate in the civic process.
Never Alone $14.99 Platforms on which the game is available:

iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux and major gaming consoles including Playstation, Wii and Xbox.
Suggestions for content use linked to content area standards:

This game can be used as a great project for social studies or science. The teacher can use this to discuss the history behind indigenous people in Alaska within social studies and can discuss how they survived their climate in science class.

For science this game would coordinate with a set of NYS curriculum performance indicators including:
1.1a: Scientific explanations are built by combining evidence that can be observed with
what people already know about the world. (This relates because the game was created with the help of the native people of Alaska and what they know about the world around them.)
1.1c: Science provides knowledge, but values are also essential to making effective and
ethical decisions about the application of scientific knowledge. (This relates because the game allows the player to address ethical issues that the character must figure out including how to survive the Artic and how to rely on another “character” the fox throughout the game in order to survive.)


For social studies this game would coordinate with a set of NYS curriculum on content including:
Grade7-8 Social Studies Unit 1: The Global Heritage of the American People prior to 1500.
Section 2: Geographic factors influencing culture.
1. To describe the relationships between people and environments and the connections between people and places
2. To describe the reasons for periodizing history in different ways
3. To map information about people, places, and environments
4. To identify and compare the physical, human, and cultural characteristics of different regions and people
5. To understand the geography of settlement patterns and the development of cultural patterns

This video game allows the player to have an understanding of a relationship where people are relying on each other. There are so many stereotypes on the things that women can and can’t do but within this game the player is a girl who is breaking the boundaries of what people would normally think that girls can do. This girl relies on a fox (her friend) in order to get past certain obstacles within her life. This can show the perseverance of a member of the LGBTQI community and what they need to go through and people they need to rely on in order to overcome in their own lives.

The games “motto” is sharing culture with one another and it is so important for the members of the LGBTQI community to be able to share their culture and experiences with others and express themselves.

Platforms on which the game is available:
Suggestions for content use linked to content area standards:

 

References

 

A mobile keyboard by Plan International boosts girls’ confidence. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://sheboard.com/en/

Newsela. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://newsela.com/read/empathy-games/id/35526

 

Preparing America’s students for success. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/

 

Smashing gender stereotypes with ‘Sheboard’ app. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://plan-international.org/smashing-gender-stereotypes-sheboard-app

Sitkin, J. (2017, August 02). Parable of the Polygons Review for Teachers. Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/website/parable-of-the-polygons

 

The University of the State of New York Regents of The University. (n.d.). The Living Environment Core Curriculum [PDF].
http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/curriculum-instruction/livingen.pdf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s