5 Ways Technology Supports Healthy School Climates
When you think of safety, what does it mean to you? What does it require to keep yourself, your children, and your school safe? Initially, you might not think safety implies much more than physical security. However, especially at this age, safety encompasses emotional components under the umbrella of school climate.
Character development is essential for a healthy school climate. The promotion of core ethical values such as fairness, respect, and personal responsibility can create a caring community that fosters students’ self-motivation and positive interactions – The Federal Report on School Safety
Online platforms have permeated the lives of younger generations commencing a new era of online bullying and violence. Especially in school systems, technology education is becoming an integral responsibility administrators are having to address after incidents of online bystander effect and bullying have had major implications on school safety oversight.
There is potentially an even larger conversation to be had on the benefits technology can bring for improving school climates that gets to the root of healthy academic and personal lives.
1. Time Management Tools
Teenagers will be teenagers, and they aren’t always accountable for their commitments. Time management and accountability are skills built over time. But, technology can give them a head start
App-based technology can be put on your student’s phone to give them helpful reminders, schedule updates and more to keep them on track. Utilizing the technology that is always in their hands to build their awareness of academic obligations through notifications and reminders takes the stress of organizing schedules and over extending their commitments.
2. Freedom vs. Accountability
Just like how helicopter parents can stifle the growth of children, helicopter student management can do the same. Students aren’t just learning algebra and history in school, they’re building relationships and learning how to transition into adults and live on their own.
However, this can get tricky when schools need to monitor student activity for security purposes. Having easy-to-use check-in/out procedures tailored to your school’s policies, student privileges, and campus, gives students the freedom to accomplish school work and socialize responsibly.
3. Foster Emotional Support
Remember going to the school guidance counselor? Having to schedule awkward confrontation appointments that often took days or weeks out from when you needed them. Those types of interactions were not easy. So why should our student management systems stop at emergency alerts? Creating an emotional support function takes the stress of scheduling meetings and waiting days to be seen.
In times when students can’t wait, to have an option for them to reach out on their behalf or others provides support and catches potential threats.
4. Plan for Emergencies
Feeling safe is the most important part of school climate. According to Texas State Research, “Students who feel unsafe at school are less engaged in classroom activities and have higher rates of absenteeism.”
It’s not just students who feel this way. Planning ahead for emergencies takes stress off of the administrator, and lets deans and faculty focus on building a strong intellectual and engaged social environment.
5. Encourage Networking
Just as you expect your child to be given the tools to succeed academically, you hope your school provides social and personal training, too.
High school is the first major milestone in a child’s life where they experience real applications of professionalism and networking often coupled as sports, clubs, and group projects. Given how important networking is in the professional world, utilizing the technology that has become ingrained into their lives is fundamental to increasing their ability and efficiency to carry out networking activities from study sessions to off-season sports practices.
Student Management Networking Advantages:
- Organizational skills and time management from scheduling platforms
- Increased interpersonal skills and community skills developed through easy access to campus events
- Increased accountability and structure from check-in/out functions
- Internalizes success and accomplishment of goals by checking off tasks
Why fight technology when embracing its practical applications in student life management can keep students safe and prepare them emotionally for the future? High school is a crazy four years of individual growth and definition. Comprehensive safety isn’t just about warding off violence, it’s also about implementing the structure to let students know they are supported and cared for.
If you would like to learn more about the specific functions student life management platforms provide for emergency situations read our blog post Challenging School Emergency Norms where we discuss specific functions that prevent school crisis and keep students safe when faced with an emergency.