Educational technology (ed-tech) is fostering social and emotional learning (SEL) in various ways.
At first look, educational technology and SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) may appear to be at odds. EdTech solutions are frequently linked with teaching students’ future-oriented skills, such as programming, or with providing classic topics, such as arithmetic, new digital forms. SEL, on the other hand, emphasizes the development of so-called soft skills and traits that improve students’ emotional abilities, mental health, and social lives. Emotional and social intelligence, on the other hand, are part of the 21st-century skill set, and they play a role in EdTech as well.
Advantages of Social and Emotional Learning
SEL helps young students grow more self-reliant, well-behaved, and compassionate, according to the Committee for Children. It also helps kids build problem-solving skills through teaching communication, as well as guiding them to make responsible decisions. One of the major aims of social and emotional learning is to help kids form and maintain good connections throughout their lives; however, research suggests that children who are socially and emotionally gifted do better academically, have larger friend circles, and are more likely to succeed in life in general.
How Does EdTech Encourage SEL?
The five major learning goals of SEL, according to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, interpersonal skills, and responsible decision making.
First and foremost, EdTech may be utilized to assist students in determining their strengths and weaknesses. It can also assist youngsters in recognizing negative feelings such as anxiety or sadness, which might hinder their ability to function effectively.
Secondly, educational technology may assist students in more freely expressing themselves as well as teaching them proper communication skills. Children may find it difficult to speak up or perform in public due to social pressure, shyness, or even disability. Ed-tech can provide private and direct contact between the teacher and the student, lowering the barrier to receiving assistance. Digital platforms also allow for rapid public sharing, anonymous speech, and more control over the audience for students.
Ed-tech may also promote social and emotional learning in group projects by combining, for example, STEM learning tools with socio-emotional teachings to provide effective learning results. Technology has created new venues for group communication, online collaboration, and final presentations.
Self-Management and Responsible Decision making
Technology often provides youngsters with something tangible with which to engage, produce, and share, therefore increasing their interest and involvement. DaVinci Club AR, for example, uses augmented reality to encourage children to connect with their surroundings while also promoting holistic wellness, such as physical exercise, nutrition, and social skills. In addition, creating a personal study route and speed typically leads to increased motivation. Using Ed-tech may give you more agency and teach you how to ask for help when you need it. Most coding programs and applications, such as CodeMonkey, allow children to practice at their speed, offer feedback as needed, and reward progress.
EdTech solutions, on the other hand, can assist teachers in measuring how students are progressing in the socio-emotional domain. Digital platforms make it simple to gather, track, and use student information. Class Dojo is one of the most well-known systems that seek to promote SEL by allowing instructors to focus on teaching a certain virtue, such as kindness. It also allows kids to communicate with their parents about their development, which is another component of SEL – strengthening all connections and cultivating a sense of community. Some EdTech solutions are built from the ground up to support social-emotional development. Positive, a Finnish firm with the tagline “see the positive,” incorporates a strong social and emotional learning theme into all of its educational goods. Roundies offers a comprehensive SEL program for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and the first two years of school. Last but not least, Mightifier, a recognized member of the education alliance Finland, provides much-needed support for remote learning with their flipped SEL solution. With the appropriate application and supervision from a teacher willing to try new things, educational technology today has the potential to be soft skills learning aids.