For high schoolers, international journal technology can be an incredibly positive influence as they use it to expand their social circles, explore their interests, and even find causes that bring purpose to their lives. But it can also present unique dilemmas around protecting their online reputations, establishing boundaries and maintaining healthy relationships, and knowing how to respond to divisive and hateful content online.
These 15-minute activities support the social and emotional well-being of your students as they navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital world. For the full collection of K–12 activities visit our SEL in Digital Life Resource Center.
To introduce a controversial issue that’s in the news, I begin with a common text where I model summary skills to the whole class and add pertinent background information. On particularly complex issues, the next step might be for the class to engage in the “Circle of Viewpoints” Visible Thinking routine from Harvard’s Project Zero, which encourages students to consider diverse perspectives by envisioning the questions that different stakeholders might have.
For example, incidents where people of color — including young people of color — have been killed by police have been prominent in the news. During class, I’ve used the “Circle of Viewpoints” routine to have students try to imagine these tragedies from the various perspectives of community members, for example a sibling of one of the victims, the son or daughter of a law enforcement official, a local business owner, a neighborhood activist, etc. An activity like this helps students move beyond their initial bias about the issue and see things from a broader perspective.