As the new year commences, attention will turn to the many priorities and objectives put in place for the terms ahead – in which wellbeing will rightfully be front of mind for many schools. Edtech has a role to play in creating a positive educational environment. But while students may be excited to get hands-on with interactive solutions, teachers can feel burdened by the need to familiarise with a variety of technologies.
When the balance is struck right, and effective support is put in place, education technology can benefit wellbeing for students and teachers alike. In this blog, we’ll cover a few considerations which will help you to marry edtech with wellbeing in 2023.
Going digital to digest thoughts and feelings
Communication and information sharing is important for maintaining wellbeing, but not always easy to manage in an accessible way. Technology can help, for example by carrying out weekly or monthly surveys to gather honest feedback and resolve any queries to make sure provisions are in place to support everyone.
There are many online resources available. Kahoot!, is a popular educational platform based on games and questions. Although more commonly used for fun quiz activities, Kahoot shouldn’t be overlooked as a platform for creating questionnaires, discussions and surveys that can be used to understand what pupils want and need from their lessons.
Teachers can ask students how they are finding different lessons or subjects, and surveys can be tailored to be age appropriate. For example, older students can be asked more directly what they understand versus what they find challenging; and for younger students you might want to phrase questions around which subjects they find most fun.
Surveys are easily customised for feedback. SurveyMonkey is another free online survey software and questionnaire tool that provides templates and examples which can be personalised for students and teachers, as part of a wider support system throughout the school.
Whichever platform you choose, it’s important to empower leadership teams or teachers to make meaningful change off the back of surveys and questionnaires. Gathering information is one thing, using it is another!
In-person guidance and support
Positive outcomes can be achieved when the right support frameworks are put in place. For example, giving teachers a dedicated forum for discussing and sharing edtech ensures they are comfortable and confident using the technologies available to them.
With either one-to-one sessions on a regular basis, or a more casual approach through drop-in guidance sessions, establishing an approachable base for teachers helps minimise any difficulties along the way.
The same can be understood for students. Although there are many online resources available which make it easier to collect feedback, it’s important to make sure support is provided in-person too. In-person sessions can make students feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings and play an important role in developing meaningful, trusting relationships.
Honouring the old and the new
Studies have shown there are advantages of outdoor time or no screen time for students, which can both benefit student attainment and minimise stress levels. It’s important to strike the right balance between edtech and more traditional modes of learning to ensure a well-rounded teaching landscape which is considerate of differing needs.
Outdoor time practising hands-on learning alongside modern teaching can aid self-esteem, conflict resolution, encourage problem solving, boost motivation to learn, and advance behaviour in class. For those busy days in the heart of exam season, getting a few minutes out in the open can’t go amiss for teachers too!
This is just the start when it comes to wellbeing, and no two schools will be alike. Treat this blog as inspiration, and match it to the unique requirements of your school. And, there are plenty of additional blogs available through Resource Hub which also focus on how to improve wellbeing strategies, such as this deep-dive on wellbeing strategies.