Lyfta focus area: Social & emotional learning

Content Team
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Explaining Lyfta
In this piece we focus on social and emotional learning (SEL). We begin by considering how SEL is being defined, the growing research and evidence around it, and then move on to explore how Lyfta can support related educational aims.
From The Circus Family storyworld

Some of our lesson plans have been specifically designed around building empathy skills and perspective taking such as our Assembly on working in the circus in Belgium and France, or our Lyfta Time (shorter lesson) where we meet Tamara in the Netherlands who has had to learn to speak again after a stroke. We also have a storyworld set in Hong Kong which is all about collecting oral histories and so explores the importance of listening to different voices.

Other teaching methods being used by teachers to support SEL through the Lyfta platform include:

  • Developing a Lyfta passport (digital or hard copy) with a space to reflect upon both the person’s story and ‘feelings’ encountered and upon their own emotional engagement.
  • Sitting with the 360 degree visuals and soundscapes for a while before watching the documentaries or reading the rich media articles, to get a real sense of the person’s environment - research has shown that this immersive dimension of the experience adds value to the overall experience and enhances a sense of connection.
  • Focusing on the following themes through specific lesson plans and storyworlds by using the keyword search function in the teacher interface: resilience and perseverance; learning and growth; growth mindset; self-efficacy; self-motivation; empathy and understanding others; perspective-taking; mindfulness; and intercultural competence.
  • Offering Lyfta sessions as part of an after-school or lunchtime ‘Around the world film-club’ providing a space for additional opportunities to support and boost SEL with children.
  • Collecting short baseline and post-session surveys to get a sense of whether there are any shifts in perceptions or senses of connection to those they encounter through Lyfta storyworlds to illustrate to young people how perspectives can change with new knowledge and emotional engagement.
  • Many lesson plans are mapped to Key Stage 1-4 Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE, including Relationships and Sex Education) core themes and objectives.
“Entering into the space where digital tools and social and emotional learning overlap, represents not only embracing the leading edge of where instruction is headed, but is also a solid step towards fully meeting young learners where they are, while creating experiences that enrich them academically, socially and emotionally” (Chatterjee Singh, N. and Duraiappah, A. K. 2020: xliii)

Lyfta carefully curates real life stories because they can teach us so much about human diversity and the changing world around us but also because they help us better understand the feelings, perspectives and world views of others. We work with professional film-makers who are experts in their art and we provide accompanying learning content that supports the building of critical literacy skills required to navigate any digital media content. Lyfta specialise in digital and immersive storytelling because we know this is a powerful teaching and learning methodology to support human flourishing, and social and emotional competences are crucial for sustaining human flourishing. From hearing the voices and perspectives of people of all ages around the world, to getting a 360° interactive view of their home or work spaces, everyone gets the opportunity to experience the stories of those they are unlikely to otherwise ever meet in person and reflect upon these learning experiences.

Read about Lyfta's other focus areas:

Get started with Lyfta by signing up for a free Lyfta Starter account, or book a short demo with the team.

Character Education
Further Education
Global Learning
Human Stories
Immersive Learning
Personal Development
Skills & Values
Social Emotional Learning