According to EdTech, social-emotional learning (SEL) is “the process in which students develop the necessary soft skills to collaborate effectively with their peers.” Social-emotional learning also helps students learn how to process and deal with their own emotions. And this is especially important now: over the course of the pandemic, reports of depression and anxiety have tripled. Thankfully, technology provides effective ways to teach SEL, even in the virtual classroom. Here are five apps that facilitate social-emotional learning.

Positive Penguins

If a student is going through a hard time, Positive Penguins may be just what they need. This interactive app helps children understand why they experience any number of emotions. Through the use of games featuring lovable penguin characters, Positive Penguins gives children an opportunity to cope with and overcome what they’re going through.

Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind is an Australian-based app that helps users of all ages take breaks during stressful days to improve their mental health. The in-app activities serve as a form of meditation. This helps students who have a hard time staying focused have a short cool down during the day. Also, they’ve recently released special care packs to help kids deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Middle School Confidential

There are three different Middle School Confidential apps. These correspond to three books written by teen expert and anti-bullying activist Anne Fox, M.Ed. This interactive comic book follows middle school kids as they deal with low self-confidence, bullying, and physical changes. It’s a fun, entertaining app perfect for any child dealing with the same issues.

The Social Express

A useful tool for teachers, The Social Express is an educational app designed to teach students how to handle emotional and social problems. Through interactive videos, the user picks a character and helps them decide what to do in different situations. This will help students make moral decisions in the game and in real life. Their website also includes useful information about using the app during remote learning.


This app helps boost student confidence in the form of games. Classcraft teaches cooperation, communication, and other social skills. The app is perfect for classrooms because it is a great way to get everyone participating. Plus, they offer webinars and professional development activities designed to help educators meet the challenge of teaching during the pandemic.


There’s no question: educators and students currently face challenges they’ve never faced before. Since the pandemic began, over half of the students surveyed by EdSource reported that they need mental health services. Remote learning may make it more difficult to monitor students’ mental health, but it is far from impossible. Monitoring software, such as LearnSafe, helps educators and administrators keep tabs on how students are feeling. LearnSafe can detect at-risk behavior, such as suicidal ideation and threats of self-harm, on school-owned computers. LearnSafe can easily be installed on laptops used for virtual learning. In this way, LearnSafe helps schools help their most vulnerable students whether they’re learning remotely or on campus.


Text by Nick Adrian



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