Updated: Jul 9
At the #ReimagineEducation2020 conference in December, we saw trends in student wellbeing for higher education that may benefit the K-12 space. Below are recaps of a few such sessions.
Called the 'Oscars of Education', Reimagine Education is a global conference and competition co-hosted every year by QS Quacquarelli Symonds and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Deledao is honored to be shortlisted for the Artificial Intelligence award in 2020. We're proud to be recognized for our proprietary AI that monitors and tracks student mental health.
Fostering Students and Faculty Mental Wellbeing
The conversation around wellness in this session is centered on understanding student population wellness in order to implement practices of prevention and intervention.
Dr. Shawnte Elbert, Associate Dean of Health and Wellness at Central Washington University
Ashleigh Hala, Director of Wellness and Prevention Services at Babson College
Dr. Raphael Coleman, Director of Columbia Health at Columbia University
Kristina Mereigh, Director of Wellness Programming at Smith College
“Treatment without prevention is simply unsustainable.”
- Bill Gates
All the panelists reported using population assessments to measure student wellbeing on campus. These assessments look at student-reported data such as food security, financial stress, body image, and etc. to get a sense of how the average student is feeling.
Recommended methods to measure campus climate:
National College Health Assessment by American College Health Association
Healthy Minds Study by Healthy Minds Network
Resources from The JED Foundation
Publicly available systemwide surveys used by the University of California system
Homegrown surveys tailored to the needs of each institution
Social media monitoring of student body sentiment
Recommended mental health assessments for one-on-one interaction:
Inventory of Thriving – e.g. "I am optimistic about my future"
Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale – e.g. "I am able to adapt when changes occur."
Sense of Community Index – e.g. "I can trust people in this community."
Panelists said that we should not only look at how students do on exams, but also look at how students are actually learning. They encourage faculty to build relationships with students and bring students to the wellness conversation.
Though Deledao makes products for the K-12 space and not higher education, many themes presented in this session overlap. In an online learning environment, an alternative to campus-wide surveys for K-12 school admin is to monitor student mental health through the school's web filter. Especially with physical campus closures, the internet serves as a student's confidant.
Because web filtering is already required for CIPA-compliance, school admin can choose a next-gen web filter such as Deledao's real-time AI filter to accurately monitor for signs of cyberbullying and mental distress.
With the Deledao Spotlight report, K-12 admin can see a better picture of student mental health, their sense of belonging, and their resilience during distance learning.
Manifesting Mindfulness in Higher Education: Practitioner’s Perspectives
This session focused on how to address mindfulness at an institutional level.
Jack Moran, Program Manager at Reimagine Education Awards
Anupam Yog, Co-Investigator at the Mindfulness and Cities Research Project
Erin Lee, Founder & Mindfulness Coach at Mindful Moments Singapore
“[Wellbeing is] not limited to any sector. It’s a societal awakening.”
-Anupam Yog, Panelist
"Wellbeing" is defined as mental, social, and physical health. For higher education to address wellbeing, the panelists ask universities to look at redesigning both the school culture and built environment on campus.
Ideas for redesigning policies and school culture:
Prevent educator burnout. To teach mindfulness to students, faculty must practice it themselves first.
Start class with 1 minute of silence. Easy to put into practice, even in virtual settings.
Ideas for redesigning the physical space that students inhabit:
Use or add additional public space for sitting and intentionally give them prime locations where people can intentionally take rest.
Add soft infrastructure, green and blue spaces (environment with grass and water).
With both types of interventions, the panelists stressed that we have to holistically and intentionally incorporate mindfulness. It takes time to see the full benefits of mindfulness in helping people.
Deledao recognizes that educators need help in redesigning the internet experience to be mindful of mental health. That's why we are more than a web filter. Our AI technology has student wellness features to make the internet a positive experience.
"Deledao stood out to our Steering Committee, and our independent judges, as one of the most truly unique submissions. By innovating at the intersection of AI, education, and wellness, it occupies a niche filled by no other submission this year, or, indeed, in any other.”
-Jack Moran, Reimagine Education Spokesperson