Technology and SEL

Q: In the digital age, students are making connections both socially and emotionally through technology. Are there opportunities for schools to use technology to help improve their students’ EI and if so, what specific tech tools do you think would work best to accomplish this—apps, mobile devices, laptops, Web sites, social networks, computer games, etc.?

I’ve never seen a computer-based SEL lesson, though they may exist (and I’d love to know about it, if so). While these skills are traditionally learned in the thick of life, there is no reason this learning could not be complemented by tech-based lessons, particularly in vivid simulations of learning opportunities (like trying to work out a disagreement, say).

I suspect all the above could become media for SEL lessons. I know that some gaming groups are already including lessons in cooperation, empathy, and emotional self-regulation in their games. And neuroscientists like Michael Merzinich are creating games that give systematic training in mental skills like paying attention, a core skill for emotional self-regulation.