New technology allows teachers to see how kids are doing emotionally and respond with customized activities
Gainesville, FL (May 14, 2020) — Crisis teaching with students at home can hinder teacher understanding of student social-emotional needs. Across the United States, mental health and education leaders have raised accelerating concerns regarding student emotional needs and the impact on student learning. Dallas-based Rhithm has partnered with MeTEOR Education, a leader in high-impact learning environments, and the non-profit Center for College & Career Readiness to offer a free version of its emoji-based app for student social-emotional connection.
The Rhithm app uses emojis to ask students about their needs, including hunger and feelings of conflict or anger. Rhithm is a simple, daily assessment tool that allows educators to see and respond to patterns in the well-being of their students. Students use a computer, tablet, or mobile device to access the program and reflect on their mental health status by associating custom emojis with five different categories: mental, energy, emotional, physical, and social.
“At a time when many students are feeling heightened anxiety, whether due to the disruption of school or economic issues at home, educators need a way to monitor and support their students’ well-being from a distance,” said Josh Knutson, the CEO of Rhithm. “Children are nine times more likely to communicate challenges by digital means, so Rhithm is a powerful tool in keeping students engaged and ready to learn, even when they’re not in the same room as their teachers.”
As students share their status in the five categories, educators leverage an array of filters on the Rhithm dashboards to understand trends at the district, school, and classroom level. They then act on these insights by delivering students customized activities that align with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
“We’re proud to partner with Rhithm to offer this invaluable tool for educators at no cost,” said Bill Latham, chief executive officer of MeTEOR Education. “Teachers are facing a number of challenges at this unprecedented time, and delivering virtual social-emotional support has been one of the most difficult. Now more than ever, vulnerable students are in danger of falling through the cracks in our schools, and we believe that Rhithm has the power to change their lives for the better.”
Kevin Baird, chairman at the non-profit Center for College & Career Readiness, believes that social-emotional trauma will be a primary factor as students return to schools in fall 2020. Advocating for the free release of Rhithm, he applauded the partners for stepping up to help schools. “In our new book, Whole: What Teachers Need to Help Students Thrive, we found that the relationship between teacher and student was the oxygen for learning,” he said. “What MeTEOR and Rhithm have agreed to do is put oxygen into the virtual classroom.”
Rhithm offers rostering through ClassLink or Clever, along with recurring training for all non-student users via Zoom. Educators can sign up for this free resource at MeTEOREducation.com/Rhithm.
About MeTEOR Education
MeTEOR Education is a creator of high-impact learning environments. We offer turn-key services for space design and optimization, environment orientation, post-occupancy configuration, and high-impact learning experience training and consultation. To learn more, please visit MeTEOREducation.com.
The team at Rhithm is dedicated to combining social emotional learning and education in the most organic way possible. We are passionate about ending the stigma around mental health and opening new conversations around emotional well-being. We believe that this technology has the potential to impact the education system as a whole, shifting to a focus on the individual rather than the numbers.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.