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Tech Provides Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Educators often discuss assisting students in developing their social skills, personal identities, and good citizenship as part of a teacher’s responsibilities in educating the whole child. Many are aware of research showing that social-emotional learning (SEL) improves academic performance, school climate, and personal success. But how much do they act on it? Technology, particularly social media, is often cited as a “place” where people demonstrate poor social skills, but there are many cases of teachers and students using the Internet to practice pro-social behaviors and digital citizenship. This session will highlight ways that educators can use technology to help students learn to manage their emotions, know themselves better, and choose actions that reflect their “best selves” – adding meaning and relevance to their school experience. Social networking, online media, and technology tools that support reflection, self-regulation, creative expression will be discussed.

Additional Supporting Materials

Learning Objectives

  1. Why should educators use social media in their classrooms? Social media platforms like Twitter, blogs, Edmodo, and Facebook provide opportunities for teacher-to-student and student-to-student interactions online. Benefits include opportunities to develop one’s own voice, engage in collaborative problem-solving and strategy, have an authentic audience to provide feedback, engage in authentic learning, and practice digital citizenship.
  2. How can educators use technology to connect, empower and build SEL skills in students? Technology tools like wikis, blogs, Google docs and other digital environments allow educators to connect with and give feedback to students in real time and provide for collaborative learning among students, taking classroom communication and student engagement to a deeper, more authentic level. Students gain experience in respectful interaction in online communities as well as the classroom community.
  3. How does social-emotional learning contribute to identify-formation, academic success, social efficacy, and educational climate? Social-emotional learning provides opportunities for students to learn key skills that allow them to know and understand their emotions, choose appropriate behavior, and contribute to a positive work environment. Students gain emotional literacy, so that they are able to regulate their emotions, build resilience, and persevere to academic success.



Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D., Online Adjunct Professor, Boise State Univer

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