"On the surface, a learner profile looks like a lively social media page, which engages 21st century learners, but it is also... a place where each student’s academic career, home life, social spheres and long-term goals all come together, which makes it the perfect space to tackle social and emotional learning."
Schools around the country are trying to be more mindful about the way they approach social and emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom. For decades, it was generally assumed that proper modeling from adults and a combination of redirection, correction, and punishment would help students figure out how to navigate the world as thinking, feeling people. However, anybody within a country mile of the classroom is well aware that those old strategies don’t work the way they used to with 21st century learners.
Young learners are more self-aware and self-conscious than ever, and they also have access to the most powerful and open-ended communication, exploration, and commercial tool ever devised: the internet. This situation, in which students need to navigate the adult world much earlier than they used to, requires a highly intentional emphasis on the way we help learners grow socially and emotionally in school. The good news is that that the same internet technology that students already love and feel comfortable using can also be part of the solution!
In order for SEL to take place, each student must build an honest, fair, growth-minded assessment of themself. Online learning tools known as Learner Profiles are perfect for this work. A learner profile is an individualized space that speaks to a student’s personality, passions, goals, strengths and struggles. On the surface, a learner profile looks like a lively social media page, which engages 21st century learners, but it is also a reflective space for purposeful goal setting and strategy development. The learner profile is a place where each student’s academic career, home life, social spheres and long-term goals all come together, which makes it the perfect space to tackle social and emotional learning.
Learner profiles are easy to roll out and integrate at any age or grade level because building them draws on the social media and web publishing skills that students already possess. Built-in quizzes and surveys help students grow metacognitively and create a profile of who they are, what they’re doing, and where they’re going. The strongest learner profiles don’t just allow students to reflect on themselves, however; they invite all the key stakeholders in a student’s life to the table to have a supportive but serious discussion about social and emotional development. Teachers, parents and administrators can all contribute to the learner profile to help each individual student understand their strengths and areas of need while helping them develop goals and strategies.
Learner profiles can be maintained from year to year and can even follow the student throughout their whole K-12 academic journey, which makes them perfect for monitoring growth over time in the area of social and emotional learning. At any point, a learner or any stakeholder in their life can take time to reflect upon how they’ve grown and evolved as a thinking, feeling person and what skills or strategies they still need to develop to ensure success in the adult world.
Learner Profiles are powerful tools for SEL and more. They also support personalized learning initiatives and provide the perfect anchor for parent-teacher conferences or IEP/504 meetings, To learn more, schedule a demo of Epiphany Learning today!