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Edtech Solutions
Network Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

How innovative schools address social emotional health, social media, and current events

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Sunday, November 29, 9:30–10:30 am PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Robert Bales  
Kharynton Beggs  
Laura Tierney  
Dr. Sarah Wike  

Bring your device to this first-ever interactive workshop that explores positive, gamified, and student-led social-emotional learning — created with over 50,000 students nationwide. Play along using your own devices and learn actionable takeaways and best practices to empower your students, parents and faculty immediately.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Curriculum/district specialists, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Attendees will not need to download anything in advance. The gamified curriculum is entirely web-based.
Topic: Digital citizenship
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Health and physical education
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Global Collaborator
  • Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.
Digital Citizen
  • Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.
  • Students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

At a time when students average nine hours each day on devices, and 45% of teens say they are online “nearly constantly”, primarily to socialize, only a few schools have found a viable solution. Bring your device to this interactive talk as you navigate the do’s and don’ts of complex social situations facing students. Attendees will learn actionable takeaways and best practices for empowering students, parents, and educators to navigate social-emotional health, social media, and technology in positive, high character ways. After three years working with over 70+ innovative schools, The Social Institute’s Laura Tierney will share a remote-friendly, gamified SEL curriculum, created with over 50,000 students, that is re-shaping the way students learn social-emotional skills. Ravenscroft’s Sarah Loyola (Director of Educational Technology) and Chapel Hill Carrboro Public School District's Robert Bales (Head Principal), who each lead this innovative program with their school’s students, parents, and advisors, will co-present.

Learning Objectives include:
1. Describe five growth-minded ways to approach social-emotional learning and positive social media education.
2. Define "positive social media education" and explain how it differs from emphasizing negatives and "don'ts".
3. Explain how to structure a sustainable program that empowers students, parents, and educators.

We will share how five best practices are the key to providing social-emotional education that student s respect and embrace:
1. From one-off lessons to sustainability: Build a sustainable solution that enables students to experience different, developmentally-relevant lessons as they progress through your school.
2. From a one-person show to an integrated team: Rather than only the librarian or technology leader promoting “digital citizenship”, students need the support of a united, cross-departmental leadership team that can affect student use of technology throughout their school experience.
3. From negative to positive language: Rather than harping on the “don’ts”, empower students with practical “do’s” that are tied to their development and solve complex social situations.
4. From students being lectured to students co-leading lessons: Rather than lecturing students, empower them to co-facilitate lessons with teachers. After all, students are on the cutting-edge of social media and technology!
5. From paper-pushing to gamified learning: Rather than relying on printouts, empower students through scalable technology.


10 minutes: Warm-up activity
Goal: Open attendees eyes to the latest data, trends, and insights about how students are navigating social-emotional health and social media.

20 minutes: Re-imagine social-emotional learning
Goal: Walk attendees through 5 best practices for providing social-emotional education that empowers your entire community -- created with and embraced by students.

30 minutes: Game time!
Goal: Play the gamified curriculum so educators can experience this education in action and learn actionable takeaways to apply this approach immediately to their own school.

20 minutes: Hands-on Screen Time challenge
Goal: Challenge educators to run one of our most popular, hands-on exercises designed by high students. This will help attendees understand and appreciate the level of engagement and student "buy-in" needed to create engaging social media lessons.

10 minutes: Design your game plan
Goal: Identify your 3 next steps to help reframe social media education at your own school and begin instilling long-long 21st-century skills in your students.

Supporting research Empowering digital citizens with real-life scenarios Teen helps create social media lessons

Washington Post: Why it's a mistake to ban social media, and what to do instead

Recognized Expert: Laura Tierney, Founder of The Social Institute. Laura is one of the nation's leading pioneers in positive social media education and has heard from thousands of students about how they are navigating complex social situations without any proper guidance or training.

More [+]


Robert Bales, Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools
Kharynton Beggs, Oglethorpe University
Laura Tierney, The Social Institute

Combining her sports leadership experience with her career managing social media for world-class brands, Laura bridges the gap between adults and students as one of the nation's leading pioneers in positive social media education. During the 10 years she worked in social media strategy, she helped build social strategies and campaigns for leading brands including Duke Men’s Basketball, ESPN, Samsung, Travelocity, Oakley, and Disney. A graduate of Duke University, she became a 4x Duke All-American, 2-time team captain, and Duke Athlete of the Decade for field hockey.

Dr. Sarah Wike, Ravenscroft School

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