Technology is a tool, and it can be beneficial in the overall learning process. It is a great way for schools and teachers to share information with students and families, and it is a useful resource for creating an engaging learning environment. However, the safe and appropriate use of technology, particularly social media, is dependent upon students utilizing social and emotional skills. If students aren’t developing skills in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships, and responsible decision-making, then they will not have the capacity to make good choices when using social media. It is imperative that the school learning environment as well as the family environment allow for young people to develop these social and emotional skills with instruction and supervision, so when they are in a position to make choices on their own, they are making safe and positive choices for themselves and their peers.
Think of technology as an amplifier; it can amplify the best (and worst) that is going on in our world. There are many benefits technology provides for students: from being a fabulous research tool to allowing them to see places and make connections all over the world. The ability technology has to allow people to connect and collaborate can truly be transformative, but we must not be complacent about how we allow our children to use it. Technology can help kids learn more efficiently, can provide access to content for students, and can increase engagement in learning.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
What is SEL? Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
Social-Emotional Competencies - These are self-assessment questions to think about your student and their wellness.
- A Parent's Resource Guide to Social and Emotional Learning - This article is a list of resources on Social-Emotional Learning from Edutopia
- The Balancing Act: Navigating Time Limits On Tech Use - This article is from the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) on limiting tech use.
- Why the Best Parental Control Is You - Instead of flipping a switch, be the voice in their head. By Christine Elgersma, Common Sense Media
- Beyond Screentime - This article shares takeaways about the most powerful ideas and transformational practices that have emerged during the past 10 years.
- Family Media Use Plan tool - This site has new recommendations on screen time for children/teens and helps you create a family plan.
- Having A Heart-To-Heart About Online Reputation - Amanda Quesada from FOSI shares guidance on how to talk to your children about their online reputation, including discussing mistakes made online, and advice to help them think more proactively about their future and how digital plays into that.
- The Screen Time Debate: Why “How Much?” Is The Wrong Question - Diana Graber from FOSI shares why parents need to look beyond just asking “how much time is spent online” to being more concerned with what content is being consumed, when the content is appropriate for your child, and why your child is choosing to spend their time on a certain platform.