Major Project Update with a little Digital Citizenship

It has been a busy couple of weeks for myself and my students as we undertake our mental health learning journey. Our initial weeks have been filled with understanding our emotions. As I had mentioned before, the students in our grade 3/4 classroom check in using the Microsoft Teams Reflect App every morning. When they sign in to their account, this is what they are met with:

Students click on an emoticon and are brought to another screen with more selections:

We, as teachers, have live access to each students submission and can see a variety of ‘insightful’ graphs giving us a snapshot of our students that day. If you can relate to the Zones of Regulations, we can see how many students are in a green, yellow, or red zone. We can also see a class list of the exact emotions chosen. Furthermore, you can track each students history looking back over a number of days.

This is the feature I have used the most. It gives you an instant snapshot of how everyone is doing each day and allows you to identify who is not in a good headspace. This lets me know who I need to touch base with to see what is happening and how I can help prepare them for the day.

I have also been working with our students to do their own check-ins with each other. They have been asking each other questions to see how each other are doing and to learn how to support each other in the classroom, particularly when they are feeling out of sorts. I believe these are important skills to learn and they have been doing so great with it.

This past week we examined the Zones of Regulation in detail. Our students are familiar with them as they are commonly used in our classrooms. I used it as an intro. to emotions, as this upcoming week will involve some deeper studying of emotion. We are going to look at the difference between similar emotions (i.e. afraid vs. scared), and are going to study some in more depth (depression, anxiety).

In the coming weeks I will also be administering some surveys throughout our school and community. Myself and some other teachers are putting together three different surveys to dig deeper into the OurSchool Survery results we received earlier in the year. We are going to have surveys for our grade 1-3s, 4-8s, and parents. I look forward to sharing the questions with you when they are finalized this week!

I believe my project fits well with one element of Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship: Digital Health and Welfare.

  • Digital Health and Welfare¬†refers to the physical and psychological well-being in a digital world. Technology provides many opportunities and enjoyment, but knowing how to segment use with the needs of ourselves and others is key to a healthy, balanced life. Educators, especially in 1:1 schools or classrooms need to ask the question of how much screen time is appropriate for students.

Part of my project is to teach kids how to use technology in a positive way – in a way that can actually improve their mental health. We are using technology as one of our main modes of identifying our mental health state, and in the future we will explore some digital resources that can help us improve our mental health. It is a reality that kids of are going to use technology more than we would probably like them to. Hopefully as part of this journey they will learn that it can be used in positive ways that can improve their, and others, health and welfare.

7 thoughts on “Major Project Update with a little Digital Citizenship

  1. Wow, Chris! So cool. I love so many things about this. I think you have done an excellent job of teaching students, through consistency and support, that technology can be very helpful. You are able to see a clear snapshot of your students’ wellbeing. Not everyone feels comfortable sharing their feelings out loud, so this is a great way for students to feel “less exposed”. I also like that you are building a strong social emotional vocabulary with these students. Looking forward to watching the process of your final project!

  2. I’ll echo Jill’s sentiments that this does a great job of giving vocabulary to these feelings and I like that there are pictures that match the emotions to help guide students along with what they are feeling. I could see my daughter, who is in grade 2, really enjoying something like this and having it become a discussion point at home as well, which I think is a really positive thing. This seems like a really positive way to introduce students to some technology in a safe way that is outside of games/videos. Can’t wait to hear more about this!

  3. Agree Chris, With the help of emoticons, its easy to express one’s feeling and emotions. Teachers can use it as a method of feedback as nowadays we have emojis for every expressions. These are easy to use and can express more. Thinking for students well-being should be the priority of every teacher.

  4. I have never used our feelings check in to create data like this, my mind is spinning with possibilities! I feel like this would be more accurate than taking a quick snapshot like My School Surveys. I like that you are combining tech and mental health, not separating the two!

  5. Looks like you’re on a roll with this Chris, well done! It is so user friendly for the kids that they probably don’t hate doing it daily- unlike if it were a handwritten journal entry! The health and wellness of our students should be a top priority, along with building relationships with them, and having them check-in on and learn to managing their usage so they have balance with other dimensions, as you suggest, is a great initiative in the digital learning process.

  6. I have been eager to follow along with your project as I find it very relevant to meeting student’s needs today. I agree that it definitely connects with the aspect of digital health and wellness. I think it could also connect with digital communication since they are communicating their emotions/feelings in a digital way.

  7. Wow, I love how visual the results are and how easily you can go through it and look at the data. I think too often we forget about the social-emotional piece and check-in to see how kiddos are doing. Your project is really interesting to me, and I am excited to follow along to see how it goes. I also like how easy it seems to be for kids to engage, and share how they are doing in a not as intimidating way as some of the more traditional methods.

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