Product Review of inspirED
inspirED’s activities vary in duration from 10-minute exercises to one-hour lessons to project-based activities. The activities page also provides resources from CASEL (the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) and maps these activities to the five core social and emotional competencies: relationship skills, responsible decision making, self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness. Resources are also presented with each activity, including TED talks, news articles, Edutopia resources, and research articles linked to that specific strand.
On the teen-facing platform, different activities are provided with a more personal perspective. Instead of having objectives and step-by-step directions, many activities provide a video or image, feature guided meditation, or ask reflection questions. Other resources on the site include a school climate assessment (you’ll have to get on a wait list) and information for organizing an inspirED team, which works together to make a positive impact on the school community.
Ideally, inspirED can be used as a comprehensive tool for developing a social and emotional curriculum, beginning with the teen- and educator-designed assessment given school-wide, selecting appropriate activities that foster positive emotions and reflecting on progress with a team of adults and learners in the school community.
You can also use this site to access activities that can be used with advisory groups, in homerooms, or even in content classes. Share resources with learners such as TED talks, guided meditations, or writing responses to help them connect to their emotions and explore positive versus negative experiences. You might also use one of the school-wide initiatives to get learners throughout your building talking about mindfulness and its impact on learning.
inspirED hits its mark as a resource center for social and emotional learning activities. Each strand references specific research articles connecting emotional awareness to academic success. Activities validate even tough emotions (such as loneliness and depression) and encourage small steps to appreciate both the good and bad feelings, with a focus on feeling in control. Resources incorporate various multimedia outlets, encourage collaboration among peers within a school community, and feel appropriate for teens.
Overall User Consensus About the App
inspirED promotes positive emotions on a platform that is visually easy to use. Content is organized clearly, and resources are available from any page within the site. Real-life narratives provide an additional level of engagement for teens.
Curriculum and Instruction
inspirED functions mainly as a resource for educators to access suggested activities based on emotional goals. Students are provided the tools to have a positive impact on school climate, but educators are responsible for effective implementation.
The content is easily accessible for all users, and the site provides research for each of the eight emotional categories. Resources are provided for assessing school climate and organizing an inspirED team.