Five Ways Peekapak Transforms 21st Century Character Education
Posted by: Amanda Zeligs
Peekapak, one of our freshly minted Edmodo Connect partners, offers a program that teaches character development curriculum through engaging stories and fun, standards-aligned lessons. Ami Shah and Angie Chan, co-founders and long-time best friends, tackled the challenge of distilling nuanced social-emotional skills, such as gratitude, perseverance, empathy, and teamwork (amongst others) into child-friendly lessons. The content is delivered via an online platform for ease of use both in the classroom and at home. With the following five key product traits, Peekapak is raising the visibility and accessibility of character education for students everywhere:
- Common Core Standards Aligned Content: Although teachers serve as character role models everyday, they are tasked with the challenge of directly teaching social-emotional skills and finding high quality material for these lessons. Add on the pressures to cover standards and prepare for testing, and it’s no surprise that social-emotional learning is deprioritized. Ami and Angie have worked with their team to align their character education curriculum with Common Core Standards. This way, teachers can tackle social-emotional and ELA skills in one fell swoop.
- Engaging Narratives: Original stories are central to Peekpak’s product. The lesson content not only delivers standards-aligned character education, but it also sparks creativity and imagination in students. The Peekapak team cultivates a balance between fun stories filled with comic relief and references to popular culture, and delivering the moral message. The results: students are beyond hooked and look forward to Peekapak lessons!
- Characters that Reflect Today’s Students: While each Peekapak story consists of a standalone plot and moral lesson, the narratives call upon an ever-expanding cast of diverse characters. Students connect with these characters right away and become invested in their storylines as they encounter recurring players over multiple occasions. From time to time, new characters are added so lessons remain fresh and students are excited to encounter and identify with new virtual friends.
- Ease of Use: Ami and Angie intentionally created a program that teachers could easily implement. This meant eliminating barriers to entry such as costly PD or time-consuming prep. Additionally, while schools and districts can adopt the full curriculum, basic lesson resources are available for free. Finally, the Peekapak team has integrated with Edmodo Connect, so that our global network of educators can use their existing credentials to access Peekapak’s online platform.
- Data-backed Mission: While developing the initial concept for Peekapak, Ami and Angie spoke to over 300 teachers to identify the character lesson topics and materials lacking in classrooms. They learned that there is an immediate need for students to develop social-emotional skills, and that these skills result in long-term benefits for children. Results from a 20-year study released in July 2015 saw that children who scored high on social skills were four times as likely to graduate from college than those who scored low.
With Peekapak, conducting high quality character education has never been easier. We are pleased to announce a limited-time opportunity for Edmodo users. If you access Peekapak using Edmodo credentials, you can receive Peekapak PRO for free now through the end of June. Note: even after your Peekapak PRO account expires, you will still retain access to all of Peekapak’s storybooks and basic lessons.