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    How Digital Signage Can Drive Results for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in Schools

    How Digital Signage Can Drive Results for Social Emotional Learning in Schools

    SEL is Social and Emotional Learning. It’s the area of education that focuses on personal development and learning how to understand and manage emotions, work and play in groups and deal appropriately with wider society. It’s the process of learning social and emotional skills, and it’s most effective when it starts early, continues through high school (and beyond), and integrates with the rest of students’ school lives.

    social emotional learning pie chart


    Download the entire collection of FREE Social and Emotional Learning posters!

    - 8 landscape-oriented posters

    - 8 portrait-oriented posters

    - available in high-resolution PDF formats

    Download Free SEL Posters

    The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) identifies five core competencies for SEL success:

    1. Self-Awareness

    social emotional learning self awareness poster

    Self-awareness is the ability to see our own emotions rather than being ‘in our feelings,’ so we can make decisions rather than just reacting to the way we feel.

    2. Responsible Decision-Making

    social emotional learning responsible decision making poster

    Responsible decision-making comes into play whenever kids have the opportunity to make a positive or negative choice and have to be aware and present enough to accept responsibility for their choices.

    Download the entire collection of FREE Social and Emotional Learning posters!

    - 8 landscape-oriented posters

    - 8 portrait-oriented posters

    - available in high-resolution PDF formats

    Download Free SEL Posters

    3. Relationship Skills

    social emotional learning relationship skills poster

    Relationship skills let children build and maintain friendships, working relationships with peers, and trust-based relationships with teachers and other adults.

    4. Social Awareness

    social emotional learning social awareness poster

    Social awareness is the ability to ‘read’ rooms, groups, and other individuals, recognizing others’ emotions and responding to them appropriately.

    5. Self-Management

    social emotional learning self management poster

    Self-management is the ability to dynamically manage and direct our own emotional lives, consciously choosing to focus on more positive feelings and behaviors.

    In addition to CASEL’s five key points, RiseVision’s free 8-piece SEL poster set also includes posters addressing empathy, the ability to relate to other people’s experiences and emotions, as well as compassion, or concern for others suffering.

    Download the entire collection of FREE Social and Emotional Learning posters!

    - 8 landscape-oriented posters

    - 8 portrait-oriented posters

    - available in high-resolution PDF formats

    Download Free SEL Posters

    How Sel Affects Other Areas of Life

    SEL skills are essential for life success as well as for success in school. Things like managing our own emotions, forming and maintaining healthy relationships, recognizing and setting boundaries, reading social cues, and empathizing with others are all crucial skills. When they’re lacking or underdeveloped, it can be difficult to pay attention in class, complete group tasks, do homework, or learn other material. Strong emotions find outlets in acting out. Impulsive behaviors lead to damaging outcomes. And students can’t communicate with others, including with the adults whose role is to protect as well as educate them.

    So SEL is crucial to the success of students in formal education, but it’s also crucial to learning the responsiveness and resilience that life requires of all of us.

    Digital Signage and SEL

    Digital signage can’t deliver all the SEL outcomes we’d like, by itself. It’s not a silver bullet. SEL success requires an approach that’s as complex as the situations and people it seeks to help. But we do know that it can help in some important ways.

    Much of the information we have on the efficacy of digital signage comes from the world of commerce rather than from education, for obvious reasons. But here’s what we know:

    • Digital signage captures 400% more views than traditional signage (Source)
    • 83% of study participants recalled a digital sign they had seen; 47% recalled three; 20% had had a conversation about one (Source)
    • 80% of brands that use digital signage experience a rise in sales, of up to 33% (Source)
    • 65% of the population are visual learners (Source)
    • People usually remember only about 10% to 20% of a spoken or written message after three days (Source)

    Outside of the commercial environment, reactions to community and civic messaging are also extremely positive, and with implications for our purposes.

    • Over 80% of commuters felt that digital signage on the highway was providing a valuable service (Source)
    • About 55% of Americans could remember a message they had seen on a digital sign in the past month (Source)

    Digital signage is viewed a lot more than traditional static signage. People remember it better, and quite often they even talk about it. We’re not trying to sell anything to our kids, of course. But we’re trying to convey messages, just the way brands are, and we’re trying to persuade people to think about something else and make different choices. We know that digital signage conveys messages that change behavior.

    Kids know it too. When asked, sixth-graders on a call with a digital signage provider gave some predictable answers, asking for information on events, holidays, sports teams, deadlines, and things they needed to remind their parents of. But they also asked specifically for ‘inspirational quotes that could encourage them when they were feeling down or overwhelmed’ and ‘reminders to always listen to others and be kind.’ Kids have already been taught these ideas and they’re asking to be reminded.

    Nudge: Reinforce Positive Messaging Effectively with Digital Signage

    Digital signage for SEL usually focuses on reinforcing positive messages, rather than introducing them. Schools carry out core SEL teaching that deals with self-regulation and self-awareness, harmonious social interactions, and positive choices. They focus on specific problem areas like anti-bullying. And their signage tends to reflect these realities: signage isn’t a teaching tool, per se. It’s a reinforcement and reminder.

    This is known to the commercial world as ‘nudge advertising’ — changing behavior slightly, in the direction you want, by appealing to the psychology of the individual.

    It’s effective when people already know what the right thing to do is, and just need to be reminded to do it. For example, junior doctors, overworked and overwhelmed, often forget to wash their hands — even though it’s one of the most crucial things they can do to reduce infections. Static signage at handwashing sites doesn’t help much. It becomes wallpaper and gets ignored. But digital signage, nudging these doctors to do what they already knew was the right thing, raised handwashing rates from 7.6% to 49%.

    Crucially, it’s much less effective at changing behaviors that are already determined. A UK survey of the efficacy of digital signage in supermarkets saw a 12.9% increase in sales of beer, wines, and spirits, 9.2% increase in entertainment, and 10% increase in impulse purchases, but just a 3.2% increase in household purchases and 0.3% increase in beauty and hygiene purchases. In other words, it’s much easier to nudge people in the direction they already want to go.

    One issue that fits this description is bullying in schools.

    Download the entire collection of FREE Social and Emotional Learning posters!

    - 8 landscape-oriented posters

    - 8 portrait-oriented posters

    - available in high-resolution PDF formats

    Download Free SEL Posters

    Combatting Bullying with Digital Signage

    Bullying in schools is a problem for the whole school. Like most SEL issues, it reaches out beyond the school to involve parents, peers, and the wider community. Everyone can play their part in a solution, so once again, digital signage isn’t the silver bullet.

    However, most kids have been taught not to bully or allow others to be bullied. They know there are better ways to solve their problems. Those lessons might just not be at the top of their minds.

    Rise Vision has a collection of 20 anti-bullying digital posters for schools, designed to remind kids of what they already know and nudge them in the right direction.anti-bullying poster dont make others feel small

    Digital Signage and Student-teacher Relations

    Digital signage gives us the opportunity to improve teacher-student relations and help drive parental engagement with the school community, too. When teachers who had a multi-year experience with an SEL program were interviewed by psychologists, they were asked to report ‘perceived effects of the program at the individual, class, school and communal level.’ Teachers reported that ‘students learned empathy and expression of emotions,’ ‘started to support each other,’ and ‘became able to make decisions and solve problems themselves.’

    Equally important was the effect on teaching staff. Teachers reported that they ‘learned new tools for classroom management, problem-solving, giving feedback, and working with groups’ and that the program ‘changed their values and behavior to be more student-centered.’

    SEL and Supportive School Environments

    The effects of SEL can extend to reinforcing newly acquired positive behaviors or nudging mental attitudes in new directions. Efforts by schools to combat racism and sexism, to encourage LGBTQ inclusivity, and to provide supportive and inclusive environments for neurodiverse students can be decisive, despite the obstacles.

    Schools struggle to support these students, who are among school populations’ most vulnerable; schools can be instrumental in combating negative attitudes among students, teachers, and the wider community. One of the most effective interventions? Signage indicating safe spaces, like our Pride Month template.

    lgbt rainbow digital signage template

    Digital signage can help to keep the whole school safer, and building it into efforts to include and support marginalized students can improve their and the whole school’s academic performance.


    Creating supportive environments for students, teachers and the wider community can’t be achieved by digital signs alone; but they can play a crucial part in the process. Students and teachers respond to digital signage-based messaging more directly and remember it for longer, and it can be used to influence social behavior and nudge students toward the behavior they already know they should be choosing. It’s also a potent tool to combat prejudice and help create an inclusive learning and social environment.

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