Presented by: Megan Townes, Microsoft Learning Delivery Specialist
What is Social and Emotional Learning?
Social and emotional learning (SEL) can help students learn the competencies and skills they need to build resilience and effectively manage their emotions, behaviour and relationships with others.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) identifies five broad headings under which SEL falls:
- Social awareness
- Relationship skills
- Responsible decision-making
How can we use technology to support the teaching of SEL?
Technology plays a pivotal role in fostering social and emotional skills and personalised learning. Students work together on interactive, visually rich experiences that build skills and deepen understanding while leveraging social-emotional skills as they collaborate, develop presentations, and test and refine their thinking.
Here we highlight four tools that can support students to develop SEL skills: Flipgrid, Microsoft Forms. Minecraft: Education Edition and Microsoft Teams.
Many teachers have discovered the transformative power of #StudentVoice and every day we hear inspirational stories of students discovering their voices, sharing their voices with others, and learning to respect the diverse voices of others.
In every learning area and for every age group, Flipgrid is the perfect platform to naturally develop SEL skills. Students plan, record, review, and re-record their video responses to ensure they convey exactly what they want. They also watch, and reply to, each other’s videos to understand, provide feedback, debate, and respect the perspectives of their peers.
Students that do not want to video themselves can choose to upload an image and use stickers or use the built-in chalkboard or whiteboard to illustrate their thoughts.
There are plenty of ready-made topics in the Disco Library to support SEL – here are a few examples:
Identifying Feelings by Jornea Armant
Making a Difference by Bronwyn Joyce
Friday Reflections by Trisha McLean
Sometimes, sharing on video or in person can be too much. Microsoft Forms is a good way for students to share how they are feeling or open discussion. Here is a simple check-in form that you can duplicate and adapt for your own use.
Minecraft: Education Edition
The Mindful Knight is an interactive world that introduces four mindfulness practices focused on self-awareness and management of emotions through a series of quests through a medieval world.
The Mindful Knight is a great introduction to Minecraft, mindfulness and SEL all at the same time.
Listen to this podcast interview with educator Suzannah Calvery as she discusses using The Mindful Knight to teach SEL and help students practise mindfulness.
Inspiration Island – The lesson plan covers self-awareness, communication, and self-expression.
Growing with Gratitude Theme Park – last year I worked with Growing with Gratitude and a primary school in Adelaide to build activities and challenges to promote service, kindness and thankfulness. You can download the Minecraft world and lesson instructions from the Growing with Gratitude website.
Teachers have set up Teams to develop social communication with students. Sometimes students struggle to communicate face to face but have found it much easier to do so using a Channel in Teams. It’s also a great way to introduce them to using Social Media in a safe and controlled environment.
Use the Praise app to recognise your classmates’ efforts and bring happiness to the classroom – send a Praise badge to a friend to for thank you, courage, optimism, leadership, kind heart, etc..
Find further resources in Microsoft’s SEL centre: Support students outside the classroom with social and emotional learning.