In alignment with 21st-century educational practices, the Newark Board of Education understands that technology strengthens teaching and learning potentials in social-emotional learning (SEL) through the use of multi-media software, virtual reality platforms, data management systems, and video conferencing.
Integrating SEL into both educational technology as well as core content areas can help foster self-directed learning.
The overall process:
- Seven Elementary/Middle School Counselors (SCs) were selected to participate in a pilot to strengthen SEL practices with students.
- SCs participated in six after-school trainings with guided support from Eduscape.
- SCs tapped into out-of-the-box thinking to create and navigate through scenarios utilizing the Photon Robot.
- Participants were excited to experience how "friendly" coding and robotics was, and were pleased with how much content they mastered throughout the six training sessions.
challenges and concerns
School Counselors (SCs) were both excited and nervous about this pilot. They were interested in participating in the trainings to learn more about Photon and Virtual Coding. SCs were concerned about not having experience or prior coding knowledge, and
were uncertain about how coding would act as a supplemental tool to enhance SEL practices.
A constant question was 'Do we have to have high level technology skills to understand the trainings and Photon features?'
During Pilot Launch
School Counselors were impressed with the hands-on training and support from Eduscape Staff assigned to this project. Scaffold trainings and building upon skills each session greatly contributed to increased confidence, understanding coding, and infusion into SEL practices.
School Counselors had an amazing experience learning how to match Photon features with SEL skill development.
Today's session was AWESOME! Each week I become more comfortable with coding Photon which excites me and now that I have a basic understanding of how to incorporate SEL skills....the sky's the limit!
I gained confidence as we went through the training. Promoting or teaching SEL skills goes well with Photon use. You can apply the competencies in many of the functions. You just have to be creative!