Sadly, it’s no surprise that after nearly two years in a pandemic, many students are struggling with their mental well-being. Currently, one in six children have a diagnosable mental health problem, which is certainly alarming.
Thankfully, there are ways for schools to support students. One of the most accessible solutions is to provide digital mental health resources in class using educational technology.
In this blog, we’re exploring how schools can use devices such as iPads to help deliver social-emotional learning.
What is social-emotional learning?
Social-emotional learning, or SEL, is a practice that helps students develop interpersonal skills, self-control and self-awareness alongside their academic skills. These qualities are integral to improving their self-esteem and helping them communicate and maintain relationships.
Many young people may find it difficult to set and commit to their goals, or to cope with their emotions. These are essential social and emotional skills – and just as important as maths and English abilities – but they may not come naturally to everyone. Instead, students often need to learn them – and there’s no better place to develop these skills than in school.
The need for EdTech solutions
SEL is clearly an important aspect of students’ development, but schools don’t always have the resources to deliver the teaching effectively. To make an impact on classes, SEL needs to be more than a brief aspect of PSHE lessons or tutor time – and it must be taught professionally. Frankly, the hardworking teachers of today are overstretched as it is, making it unrealistic to train them to be mental health experts too.
That’s why digital resources and EdTech equipment such as iPads are so helpful: they can easily relay the knowledge and expertise to students and staff, respectively.
The benefits of social-emotional learning through technology
There are many reasons to use devices such as iPads to assist SEL classes:
- Digital exercises make it easy for students to become immersed in SEL. By working through virtual tasks, videos or guides, they can learn at their own pace. This makes the learning feel more ‘real’ and hands-on, as opposed to just listening to a teacher talk.
- The virtual format allows students to revisit topics and activities related to their SEL. For instance, if they’re struggling with a quiz about self-awareness, they can just go back, rethink, and retry. This means they can develop skills such as persistence and problem-solving, and ultimately learn from mistakes. It’s more in-depth than just re-reading a handout worksheet!
- Doing things digitally typically means that teachers can track students’ learning and engagement. Monitoring how students interact with SEL sessions will show what’s working and what isn’t. These assessments can also help teaching staff spot alarming behaviours or attitudes, allowing them to intervene and address any potential mental health concerns.
EdTech lets students direct their own SEL experiences. Devices such as iPads allow them to feel more in control of their learning. This ultimately helps learners develop some agency, as they can work in a way that’s comfortable and in line with how they think.
Resources and equipment
If you’re keen to find out more about what SEL resources look like, you could start by checking out Persona Life Skills. This programme uses online courses to help students develop important life skills – and it’s compatible with iPads.
We hope this blog has helped you appreciate the benefits of combining EdTech and social-emotional learning. To support your school’s approach to SEL, iPads for Education offers affordable, flexible leases for a range of iPad rental packages. Learn more about how we can help by contacting our friendly team today.
iPads for Education from Utility Rentals helps schools, acadamies, colleges and universities across the UK to acquire Apple iPads through affordable and tailor made rental solutions.
Our team of tablet wizards are fully in tune with the requirements of the education sector and will work in partnership with you to make the process of getting and maintaining iPads for your pupils and staff refreshingly straightforward.
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