What is Mismatch for Schools?

Mismatch connects classrooms across the country via video conferencing and allows students to hear from someone different from themselves. It works like a dating service: you fill out some information about your school and area, and we send you your perfect (mis)match. After that, your students use a conversation guide to talk one-on-one with students in another classroom. Through these conversations, students learn about how to talk civilly with someone who is different than them as well as important digital literacy skills. Learn more at Mismatch.org.


What will be involved?

  1. You fill out our sign-up form to give us more information about your school and students.

  2. We match you with another teacher in a classroom somewhere else.

  3. You coordinate with the other teacher to schedule a time for your students to have their conversations.

  4. You and your colleague give students pre-made bias quizzes.

  5. You make the matches!

  6. Using the conversation guides, students talk via free video conferencing programs.

  7. You and your students give feedback!


Why should I use Mismatch in my classroom?

It’s good for your students. It’s clear that there are great divisions across the country right now, and new technologies combined with an ever-changing media landscape make these divisions hard to navigate. Mismatch will help students learn how to talk to people they disagree with, rather than retreat into their own bubbles.

Students like Mismatch. At the end of the 2016-2017 school year, we ran our first pilot of Mismatch with college and high school students. We had overwhelmingly positive results with 99% of students saying that they felt the experience was valuable. Students also said they would like to keep in touch with their mismatch and participate in more conversations.

We want to make Mismatch better, and we need your help to do that. We want real teachers and students to tell us what they like and don’t like so that we can constantly improve the program. Without your help, students will not be able to gain the important skills of civil dialogue and digital literacy that can carry throughout their lives.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is the conversation live? Yes. The conversations happen in real-time through free video conferencing software.

  2. How do we schedule a conversation? You and your colleague work together to find the best time for you. We have found that it is easiest for teachers and students to schedule one time to meet as a class rather than assigning Mismatch as homework, but that is up to you.

  3. How long are the conversations? The conversations typically last between 60-90 minutes, depending on the people in them. We do ask that students don’t skip questions, but you can always give them a time limit per question if you are short on time.

  4. Do students talk as a group or one-on-one? Ideally, students talk one-on-one, but there might be some cases where groups of 4 or 5 work better for matching.

  5. How will the students know what to talk about? We provide conversation guides and ground rules for the students to follow. The guides are designed to help students keep their conversation civil and on-topic while building a relationship of trust with their mismatch.

  6. How often are the conversations supposed to take place? As often as you would like. We can match you with one other teacher and you can have multiple conversations, or we can give you more matches. We have a huge variety of topics to discuss, but we do ask that you begin with “Relationships First.”


More questions or concerns? Please send an email to jaymee@allsides.com!