The Community Zone aims to help Ontario school children develop socio-emotional skills to effectively handle life challenges and thrive in learning and social environments. Socio-emotional development includes the ability to form and sustain positive relationships; experience, manage and express emotions, and engage effectively with our environments.
Community Zone apps
- Artificial Intelligence
- Anti Bullying
- Choose Your Own Adventure App (In Development)
Community Zone Background:
An important task of childhood is to develop socio-emotional skills so that we can effectively handle life challenges and thrive in both our learning and social environments. Socio-emotional development includes the ability to a) form and sustain positive relationships, b) experience, manage and express emotions, and c) engage effectively with our environments. A heightened level of socio-emotional skills has been found to reduce violence, bullying behaviours, and mental health problems in children and adolescents (Ragozzino & O’Brien, 2009). Additionally, students that have socio-emotional skills such as self-regulation are more able to focus on learning and achieve academic success. When students are able to meet academic expectations they feel better about themselves and are more connected to school, which is a protective factor against antisocial behaviour. In the Community Zone of the EduApps, we have chosen to focus on bullying and mental health issues as bullying is the most frequent form of school violence and mental health has been identified as a major issue for children and youth according to the World Health Organization.
In order to support students with these difficulties and build their resiliency, the community zone will contain apps that help develop students’ socio-emotional skills as emotional intelligence, self-regulation, problem solving, conflict management, communication skills, decision making, ethics, leadership, and empathic respectful relationships, as well as support their ability to deal with bullying and mental health difficulties.
The apps in this area will complement each other and build upon the skills developed in each of the apps:
a) Healthy emotions: Emotional Intelligence –self-awareness, self-management (self-regulation), social awareness, and relationship management;
b) Healthy Relationships: Respect, diversity and conflict management and social situations such as bullying, harassment, leadership, accepting and appreciating diversity, and developing cultural competence;
c) Healthy Me: Mental health and well-being – coping strategies for anxiety and depression, such as self-talk, breathing techniques, and positive re-framing.
All of the apps will provide opportunities for both learning and practice; an important aspect for positive and long term change (Sukhodolsky & Scahill, 2012).
CIVILIZATIONS: Sustainable Growth App
How can we model civilization?
- civilizations grow
- what is the logic or limit to their growth?
Explore a SUSTAINABLE GROWTH simulation with code
- let’s model growth with flowers, bees and birds
- how do they interact and how are they interdependent?
- Explore a SUSTAINABLE GROWTH simulation with code
What makes a smartphone smart?
- smartphones can make decisions
- smartphones make decisons using using Boolean logic
- see Boolean logic in action with sets and subsets of numbers
- Explore Sets & Subsets with code
1. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) STORY
This graphic story raises issues of privacy in today’s digital world. There is a set of reflection, research & discussion questions in the last 2 pages of the book.
This story is a graphic-novel re-imagining of George Orwell’s Animal Farm with AI agricultural robots (agbots)
How will AI agbots view humans?
3. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) STORY
A wall has separated the Eleuseeto from the Meehaneeto for many, many centuries. But the Meehanneeto are back. What will the Eleuseeto do?
REVIEW: Meehaneeto is a graphic novel that creatively investigates the transformation of the Eleuseeto society after the introduction of technology and artificial intelligence. The Eleuseeto society in many ways mirrors our own. Technology has changed rote and labour-intensive tasks and how people connect with one another and access information. The people in Eleuseeto have more time, but how are they filling it? They have more social connections, but are they more or less meaningful? The story explores the potential social, economic and environmental consequences of AI’s unchecked development and uncritical use, like social isolation and behaviour manipulation. The learning resources at the end of the story prompt readers to consider how their data is currently being collected and for what purposes and how data collection relates to issues of privacy, ethics and democracy. The text and its teacher guide are powerful tools for use in elementary and intermediate/secondary classrooms.
NOTE ON GREEK ORIGIN OF NAMES: The names in this story are playfully derived from the roots of Greek words whose meanings are in parentheses: Meehaneeto (machine); Eleuseeto (free); Panopteeto (all seeing); Pereegeeto (curious); Petateeto (flying). The use of “ee” helps with pronunciation. For example, the second author’s name, Gadanidis (Γκαδανίδης), is pronounced in Greek as “gathaneethees”, with “ee” pronounced as in “bee”, “th” pronounced as in “the”, and the accent on the syllable “nee”.
This app is in development.
The Community Zone is in the process of developing a bullying awareness app that teaches elementary school students about the various types of bullying: physical, socio-emotional and cyber-bulling.
The app also helps students develop the skills necessary to identify these situations when they occur and to respond positively, instead of remaining a by-stander. The student creates a self-representative avatar and moves through various stories and ‘rooms’ where different bullying situations occur. As the avatar progresses through each room the situations they face become more complex, requiring greater use of skills such as problem solving, coping, communication, and self-regulation. The student is able to build their confidence in each room facing the more complex situations and what their reaction will be. This app is grounded in mental health, bullying, and education research, so the scenarios are realistic, relevant and relatable. Opportunities for children to practice and role play their responses to bullying situations is key for developing the confidence to face this social phenomenon.
The app has been created using the Unity game engine and is currently designed to run on any HTML5-enabled internet browser. The game reads Google Sheets, so the app will not require a programmer to make future, minor, changes. Choices can be written in the cells of the spreadsheet and edits can then be exported to a CSV file.