Contributed by Tamara Fyke
In my early days in education, a wise leader said to me, “The trends in education swing like a pendulum.” At the time we were focused on No Child Left Behind; now, almost twenty years later, we are focusing again on the needs of the whole child, but with a different perspective. In the 21st century, we understand the needs of the whole child include social-emotional learning, and we also know that technology is a ubiquitous, essential, and powerful part of education. So we must ask ourselves this necessary question: How can SEL and edtech work together to benefit students?
In order to answer this question, we must take a look at the future of our children. With the growing prevalence of technology in every facet of our lives – from digital grocery shopping to project management, students must be equipped to do more than watch YouTube videos and post on Instagram. They need a thorough and practical knowledge and understanding of information systems, typing skills, and coding. Technology will continue to be a part of everything in their lives, so the true test is knowing more than the mechanics ― it’s knowing how to use tech with purpose. They need to be taught the consequences, positive and negative, of their interactions with technology. It is a matter of ethics and morality.
According to Miriam-Webster, ethics are the principles of conduct governing a group and morals are principles of right and wrong behavior. In our society, how do we know what is right and wrong? Regardless of our political or religious beliefs, one thing upon which we can all agree is the law of love – doing good for ourselves and others. Read more.
Tamara Fyke is an educator and creative entrepreneur with a passion for kids, families, and urban communities. She is the creator, author, and brand manager for Love In A Big World, which equips K-8 educators with a social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum that is both research-based and practical, and also provides the supporting resources necessary to empower students to be socially competent, emotionally healthy problem-solvers who discover and maintain a sense of purpose and make a positive difference in the world. Tamara is editor of Building People: Social & Emotional Learning for Kids, Schools & Communities, a book that brings 12 wide-ranging perspectives on SEL to educators, parents, and leaders.