An animated Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) software designed to teach children and youth how to think about and manage social interaction situations has come to Africa.
The technology, known as The Social Express®, is coming to Africa through partnership formed between its USA-based creator, The Language Express, Inc., and Prognari, an Africa-focused education value-add organisation that seeks to develop social, emotional intelligence capabilities and life skills in children and young adults.
The Social Express®, according to the partners, helps children and youth to “develop meaningful social relationships and ultimately succeed in life.”
The Language Express and Prognari say their strategic partnership supports their “objective of equipping the 21st century African child with the skills required to be successful in school and life.”
Saying they have seen–through user testimonials–positive results in more than 70 countries where The Social Express® is used, Marc Zimmerman, CEO of The Language Express, Inc, quotes ‘New Vision for Education: Fostering Social and Emotional Learning through Technology,’a report of World Economic Forum, as calling for new learning models to thrive in the 21st century.
“In order to thrive in the 21st century, students need more than traditional academic learning. They must be adept at collaboration, communication and problem-solving, which are some of the skills developed through SEL. Coupled with mastery of traditional skills, social and emotional proficiency will equip students to succeed in the swiftly evolving digital economy,” the WEF report says.
On his part, Emmanuel Udoro, the Corporate Communications Director at Prognari, says, “Our overriding vision at Prognari has always been to proactively equip African children and young adults for life in the 21st Century and beyond through experiential and targeted learning. Our partnership with The Language Express, Inc. moves us closer to achieving our objective and will see us taking The Social Express to the length and breadth of the African continent. The Social Express® is a digital and innovative learning program that aligns with the trend shifts in our digital world.”
The Social Express®, which is accessed via the internet on mobile devices (currently available only on iPads) and desktop platforms, runs a series of interactive web episodes (webisodes) and mobile apps that can be used by the learner independently, or with a teacher in a group.
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In addition to equipping children with SEL abilities, Prognari is working with The Language Express to reduce the incidence of bullying in schools through the Cool School, an interactive and animated anti-bullying programme designed for elementary school learners; Cool School’s six week curriculum has been designed to teach young students about bullying through interactive videos and offline activities. The program also addresses bystander behavior and how it can contribute to and increase bullying in the school environment.