How Technology Helps Social-Emotional Learning Flourish
Social-emotional learning (SEL) and technology might not seem like natural partners. But, according to the presenters in the edWebinar, “Social-Emotional Learning: Leveraging Technology to Care for All,” sponsored by ClassLink and co-hosted by CoSN and AASA, technology is an essential part of their programs. During the presentation, the speakers explained the role technology plays in supporting SEL initiatives.
First, for all of the presenters, working towards SEL goals means understanding the starting point. Using online surveys to gather data helps leaders understand what their schools are doing well, which specific parts of their programs are effective, and where they have gaps. Of course, having one-on-one conversations is also important, but in order to move forward—and to get community support—data is key.
Moreover, by using technology to gather and collate the data, they are able to easily gather and process information from a wider range of constituents—parents, staff, faculty, students, etc. This allows administrators to look at their school communities as a whole and measure the health and needs of each segment. They can also use the same technology to communicate progress to their communities.
Next, the speakers have used technology to make social-emotional learning easier to access. For instance, during the lockdown, parents could attend school information sessions online. They no longer had to rush around, miss work, or miss the sessions.
Moreover, many of the sessions were made available on-demand. This helped facilitate closer relationships with the school. Similarly, schools used technology to have virtual teacher meetings as needed without interrupting their classes or making them stay after school.
In addition, SEL tools and curricula are readily available through online platforms. This allows schools to set up learning opportunities for all of their constituents.
And because the lessons are online, students can access their lessons outside of the classroom, giving them flexibility in how they choose to learn. Tech developers are even providing students with safe spaces to learn online literacy, so they can practice the skills they’ll need for future employment.
Finally, technology has allowed the staff and teachers to focus on building relationships with each other and students, rather than some of their previous time-consuming work. Tasks that could take days or weeks are now completed in hours. The goal is for the technology to constantly be working in the background, providing information as needed.
About the Presenters
Dr. M. Ann Levett was appointed Superintendent of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools in June 2017. Dr. Levett began her career in Savannah as a speech and language pathologist and moved to positions in leadership throughout her K-12 career and at Antioch University McGregor (OH), the Child Study Center at Yale University School of Medicine (CT), and Macon State College (GA). Dr. Levett also served as a board member for New Haven Public Schools (CT) and consulted on significant reform and community development efforts in several international communities.
Dr. Levett, a former member of the Executive Committee of AASA, the national School Superintendents Association, is a published author and nationally known speaker. Among her most recent notable achievements are 2021 Georgia Carl Perkins awardee, 2020 University of Georgia College of Education Lifetime Achievement awardee, 2019 Georgia Outstanding Woman, and 2019 Georgia Department of Education’s STEM and STEAM Advocate of the Year. Follow Dr. Levett on Twitter @AnnLPGA.
Dr. David Miyashiro currently serves as Superintendent of Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) in California. David completed his doctoral studies at UCLA. He was named 2016 Superintendent of the Year by ACSA (Association of California School Administrators), Region 18. Cajon Valley’s vision of “Happy Kids, Engaged in Healthy Relationships, on a Path to Gainful Employment” and its signature career development program “The World of Work” has garnered both national and global recognition. Follow Dr. Miyashiro on Twitter @davidmiyashiro.
Glenn Robbins is Superintendent of Brigantine Public Schools in New Jersey. His passion is harnessing a school culture that thrives on design thinking skills, innovative digital spaces, high caliber professional development, exponential thinking, BYOD/1to1, Social-Emotional Learning, Zen Dens and Makerspaces. Glenn encourages all students to have a voice, not only in building a school culture, but also in designing student-led courses. Glenn has been recognized by numerous organizations for his innovative technology implementation methods and has been a featured speaker at numerous events across the globe. Glenn is a proud mentor for the AASA Aspiring Superintendent Academy, CoSN Empowered Superintendent Panel, NASSP National Digital Principal of the Year, and co-chair for New Jersey’s NJASA Technology Committee. Mr. Robbins believes “by empowering students and staff to have a growth mindset through design thinking, while implementing digital tools, we better prepare them for the profound shifts that they will encounter in life.” Follow Glenn on Twitter @GlennR1809.
About the Host
Ann McMullan is Project Director for CoSN’s EmpowerED Superintendents Initiative. Ann served as Executive Director for Educational Technology in Klein ISD near Houston, Texas until September 2013, when she and her family moved to Los Angeles, California. For 16 years Ann led the district team that provided professional development on technology and 21st century instructional strategies to 4,000 educators serving 50,000 students. She was co-chair of the Texas Education Technology Advisory Committee which developed the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology.
Today, Ann works as a public speaker, writer, and consultant focused on leadership to meet the needs of today’s students. Ann serves on the edWeb.net Advisory Board, ClassLink’s Senior Advisors Group, and is a founding member of ERDI’s Ed Leadership Council. She also volunteers as a leadership consultant with Executive Service Corps of Southern California, serving non-profit associations. Ann is co-author of Life Lessons in Leadership, available on Amazon.com.
Join the Community
Super-Connected is a free professional learning community on edWeb.net for school superintendents, district leadership, and aspiring district leaders.
AASA is the premier association for school system leaders and serves as the national voice for public education and district leadership on Capitol Hill.
CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community, best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education.
ClassLink empowers your students and teachers with instant access to their learning resources. ClassLink® OneClick® includes a library of over 5,000 single sign-on apps and instant links to file folders at school and on Google, Office 365, and Dropbox cloud drives. ClassLink Roster Server easily and securely delivers class rosters to any publisher using open technology standards. ClassLink Analytics gives decision makers the usage data they need. Accessible from any computer, tablet or smartphone, ClassLink is ideal for 1to1 and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives.