Congratulations to Ellyn Stewart, Director of Media Studies, Design and Innovation, and Deanna George, Middle School Director of Technology and Innovation, for their selection to participate in the Sacred Heart Network’s newly launched, Educators of the Heart program. This week, Ms. Stewart and Mrs. George presented their eSeminar, “Sparking Change: Digital Wellness & Empowering Student Voice," to Network educators across the country.
Their presentation equips educators with tools and strategies to teach digital wellness to students, with an emphasis on empowering students to take an active role in coaching their peers towards healthy habits, both in the digital realm and offline. Drawing on their own successful curriculum and classroom experiences, Ms. Stewart’s and Ms.George’s eSeminar includes guidance on how to leverage filmmaking, podcasting, apps, memes, and social media in thoughtful and purposeful digital engagement.
In a competitive applicant field, Ms.Stewart and Mrs. George’s proposal stood out to the Educators from Heart committee for its relevant content and innovative approach to teaching and learning. Educators from the Heart coordinators, Amanda Codina and Sheila Haggs, write, “[Ms.Stewart and Ms.George’s] proposal inspires fellow educators. Their enthusiasm for Sacred Heart education empowers teachers to create transformative learning experiences that cultivate a deep understanding of the world and a genuine concern for others.”
Ms. Stewart and Ms. George’s work is based on research that suggests that students learn more effectively from peer leaders than they might from outside experts. Their presentation highlights examples of how Sacred Heart Greenwich has successfully created a culture of digital wellness, thanks in part to the work of the Digital Wellness Student Task Force and the Sisterly Advice workshops. These programs have opened space for students’ voices and provided real-life examples and advice for navigating social media and the digital terrain.
Ms. Stewart writes, “Sacred Heart Greenwich is leading the way in digital wellness by allowing students to share their expertise about using social media in healthy and positive ways. Student leaders in the newly launched Student Digital Wellness Task Force have planned weekly lessons for their peers on the topics of digital footprint, screentime, and using their voices for good. We are hoping to pilot a Network-wide collaboration next year. Whether collaborating with teachers in Australia to Pennsylvania, it is always inspiring to connect with our sister schools towards a common goal.”