Social-emotional learning has been in the limelight off-late, and this is due to the changing education dynamics.
With online education becoming the norm, transitioning from the physical classroom came with challenges. According to EdTech Magazine, 94 per cent of educators agreed that students needed increased emotional and social support at the pandemic’s peak. Though schools have reopened, the impact of the pandemic continues to exist. There has been a sustained focus on social-emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom, and educators are willing to use tools, apps, and new strategies to help them meet students’ SEL needs.
Another BBC School Report states that 70% of the surveyed 11-to-16-year-olds had experienced negative feelings, varying from “feeling upset and unhappy to feeling anxious, frightened or unsafe”. The same report also mentions that 73% of teachers often worry about a particular pupil’s well-being in their free time; however, they fail to address the issues due to a lack of training. Additionally, an EdWeek survey reports that 66 per cent of high school principals are looking for effective solutions to battle the increasing levels of anxiety, depression, and avoidance in students.
EdTech and mental health solutions intersect at the social-emotional learning (SEL) solutions that are effective in helping students with complex problems and ensure that students get a safe space to express and discuss their issues comfortably. These solutions help students manage their mental health and keep educators and parents in the loop to ensure that any warning signs are communicated and that students get the required help if needed.
In honour of World Mental Health Day, we bring you our top picks of SEL solutions to help all stakeholders, mainly students, manage their mental health effectively.
iSpaceWell-being has a specially designed curriculum for schools addressing children ages 4 to 13. It focuses on the student’s mental health and emotional well-being through its child-friendly and engaging framework. What sets it apart is the age-appropriate framework that dresses essential key points and creates a dialogue around emotions, well-being and mental health, making it a part of everyday life. This curriculum equips children with the skills and awareness to comfortably ask for help and express their concerns. The platform currently offers two programs for students aged 3 to 16 and is working on another program specially designed for ages 9-11, which will be a tool for well-being measurement.
UniWellBeing is a digital platform that will teach students to make healthy habits a part of life and look after their well-being. The platform uses student engagement strategies, educational content, social engagement activities, behavioural science, and evidence-based mental health methods to make learning interactive and engaging for students and promote action in the right direction. The platform helps students help themselves and build coping skills and resilience, which helps in the child’s holistic development. The platform uses a bite-sized learning approach and interactive tools, podcasts, and videos that keep students entertained and engaged while they learn. The resources also enhance relaxation. Uplifts mood, helps with focus and energy levels and improves productivity. The tool is used by over 1 million students at 75 universities worldwide.
Komodo Well Being
Another popular platform, Komodo Well Being, provides students with a safe space to communicate with their educators, alongside providing schools with crucial data to help them identify the early signs of deteriorating mental health or bullying among students. The tool offers psychologist-designed surveys and questions covering various topics like how students feel about going to school, socialisation, and relationships or major transitions like starting high school or preparing for university. The schools get to decide the time students spend on this tool and at what time. This gives school authority the ownership to customise the usage of the tool based on the environment; for instance, when students progress to a new session, it’d be wise to take frequent check-ins to understand how students are feeling in a new class. The solution is entirely customisable, making it easier for schools to alter it as per their needs, and it can be used on a web-based platform or through their mobile apps.
Despite not addressing mental health directly, this platform makes it to the list for creating a dialogue around the most complex and shushed topic, sex education. The platform is creating awareness among young students and teens about sex education, gender content, LGBTQ, reproduction, puberty-related challenges & changes, consent, gender sensitisation, girl empowerment, menstrual hygiene, emotional changes, love, infatuation and other complex emotions and experiences that are natural and a part of life. Addressing the gap in teaching youngsters about sex education in Indian institutes, Iesha Learning works around its curriculum to ensure students learn about sexual well-being. Their resources repository includes multimedia content, worksheets, games, and discussions that deliver the correct information. Schools, NGOs, and institutions can get in touch to adopt their courses or have them conduct workshops. Over 6,00,000 students across India benefit from the platform, with more added every minute.
As per a study from the Journal of Affective Disorders, student and teacher well-being are closely interrelated. If any of the two is not in a good mental space, the opposite will experience psychological distress. If teachers are in tune with their well-being, their students are less likely to show signs of negative mental health; similarly, students’ unruly behaviour can cause teachers distress. Thankfully, edtech solutions have enough room to address the well-being of teachers and students alike. We can likely have a positive impact when we touch both ends of the spectrum. Also, resources like Resilient Educator can be of great help to teachers. Such platforms are a must-go when needing information and building awareness around the various aspects of holistic well-being.
Is there any platform you’d like to add to this list?
Please share with us in the comment section below.