In the school counseling community we talk about the importance of social emotional development learning. We are in the classrooms or in groups talking about self awareness, emotions, anti-bullying, and relationship building skills that are needed to understand interactions as well as outcomes of such interactions as children and young adults.
What we often are not connecting is how tools used today and the reaction to information posted can have such negative impact on our students, as well as adults (I include ourselves as counselors and other educators), We often will talk about netiquette, digital literacy, etc...but students do not really connect to the ideas unless they can experience it.
This week I saw how social media can break in matters of seconds, the trust, relationships, and positive culture in a school building. A new app, built for positive anonymous posting intent, named Yik Yak, went viral in its use with unfortunate, nasty comments. It only took one action to have a negative reaction. A combination of bad self management of an emotional process with a reaction utilizing a social media tool. Such app joins others that are concerning, such as FormSpring, SnapChat, etc...that allow for increased opportunities for at risk behaviors as a result of desperation of not knowing how to react to postings. Here is an article on other apps students are using for social media: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/15-sites-and-apps-kids-are-heading-to-beyond-facebook.
I want to focus on change...and it all starts with the way we think and deliver our lessons on social emotional development and learning. I am not anti-technology or anti-social media, but think about the appropriate use of such and its impact on students and adults. It is not only about the competencies and indicators that students will learn, but it is also about the tool students and adults are using.
So why not incorporate a new standard I coined into our lessons as educators: Social Emotional Technology Learning. I don't have any specific competencies written out, but let's start thinking about our lessons and how the technology tool is a component of the goal for student learning. I did find this wonderful website on Technology: Enhanced Social Emotional Learning which gives some great resources for activities, http://seltechnology.weebly.com/. Here are some lesson ideas:
1) When teaching self-awareness, include topics of branding yourself and digital footprint. What have you posted, good or bad, that would describe you?
2) The lesson on time-management, include the app Menthal, to monitor how students spend their time with technology and what other activities they could be doing instead.
3) Teaching empathy is not only to have students understand the concept, but use technology to track how they are making a difference. There is a new kindness app called Ripil that can be used.
*** Note that with every lesson, keeping data to then broadcast it to the community is important!
Finally, I leave you with a video that was shared with me that truly made an impact. A true visual of the technology impact on social emotional development.