Students take SEL to social media

Research shows positive outcomes across indicators -- from academics to behavior to stress management -- among students who participate in social emotional programs.

Educator Todd Clinton, a recent winner of the Editor’s Choice Content Award for his article #TweetBOX oversees a middle-school program rich with SEL concepts.

The TRACS -- training, responsibility, accountability and coping skills -- program, aims to create “an environment that is supportive and safe, and [one that] promotes self discipline,” for struggling students, Clinton explained during a recent interview.

@SchoolPerfect

Role-play serves as the vehicle for learning about social skills in the TRACS program. Inspired by YouTube’s Dude Perfect, students create and record mini dramas about stereotypes, post them on the School Perfect YouTube channel and then share their projects on Twitter at @SchoolPerfect.

The project seeks to bring awareness to inappropriate school stereotypes. “We show both sides of social skills; we show social skills that are appropriate and social skills that are inappropriate,” Clinton explained.

Students also learn to take ownership of learning during the roleplay process, a skill Clinton hoped the #TweetBox project, which inspired his winning blog post, would support, and it did, he said.

#TweetBox

The TweetBox is an actual box in the classroom, Clinton said, noting that students took the leading role in designing and constructing it. Students use it to submit 140-character messages for review and hopeful inclusion -- if they meet academic and project goals -- in the Twitter feed at @SchoolPerfect.

Listen the full Education Talk Radio interview to learn more about how students in this rural Tennessee middle school are learning valuable social, emotional and life skills.

Melissa Greenwood is the director of education content for SmartBrief.

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