Today’s classrooms are full of immersive high-tech tools—but at the same time, schools and districts are being pushed to promote social-emotional learning (SEL) and improve school climate. Since spending too much time looking at various screens can hinder the direct connection between people, here are four real-world examples of tech helping students connect on a human level with their peers, their teachers, and the world around them.
Howard Vogel: Confronting students’ fear of public speaking
When teaching the 21st-century skill of communication, many schools focus on reading and writing, but spoken communication is just as important to students’ success in school and in life. At J.M. Grasse Elementary School in Perkasie, Penn., where I am the principal, we use technology to make students more comfortable with public speaking.
The fear of public speaking affects 75 percent of our population. To help curb students’ fear of talking in front of an audience, teachers at my school use handheld microphones and the Lightspeed Redcat audio system multiple times a day to give each student the opportunity to speak and be heard by the entire class. Students use these microphones during morning meetings, when reading out loud, and when doing mini-presentations. Not only do they love speaking into the microphone, but teachers enjoy having students that are attentive and engaged.
(Next page: More ways to promote SEL skills)