Vivi and Persona Life Skills – A new Social-Emotional Learning pedagogy
Vivi is a wireless screen mirroring solution designed for education, that the teacher controls in the classroom. It is used by over half a million students and teachers. In Persona Life Skills, both students and teachers have their own personalised account on the platform, making it an ideal teaching and learning tool to use with Vivi.
By Dr Leila Khouja Walker, Chief Product Officer
Persona Life Skills
Persona Life Skills is an online platform that takes a unique personality insights approach to Personal Development for secondary (high school) and college students age 13 and up. The platform is ideal for delivering Social-Emotional Learning in classroom, blended learning or remote settings.
Persona Life Skills builds student wellbeing and employability by developing 22 social-emotional life skills across six skillsets:
Combined psychology and pedagogy informs our personality insights and curriculum of 80+ modules, guiding students to know themselves, understand others, and learn to adapt their thinking, communication and behaviour, to achieve more positive outcomes.
Both Students and Teachers each have their own personalised account on the platform, making it an ideal teaching and learning tool to use with Vivi’s wireless screen mirroring technology.
Teachers can also see students’ personality profiles, review student input and monitor progress at individual, group, cohort or whole school levels.
Combined with Vivi wireless screen mirroring: A shared pedagogy
Vivi is a wireless screen mirroring solution designed for education, that the teacher controls in the classroom. It is used by over half a million students and teachers.
At the heart of Vivi’s app is one simple mission:
“to engage every student”
Indeed, Vivi provides students (and their teachers) with features that enable everyone to be involved at any given time.
In pedagogical terms we can equate these teaching methods to enhancing Collaborative Learning and Cooperative Learning. Simply put, these strategies organise learning so that groups of students work together to accomplish a task or learn something new.
Both pedagogies are highly regarded within educational research (eg. Cornell University’s Center for Teaching Innovation) as they are deemed to increase student engagement and therefore learning outcomes.
Enhancing Persona Life Skills with Vivi
Vivi’s classroom technology provides collaboration, control and creativity features, engaging all users and enhancing learning outcomes. It perfectly complements Persona Life Skills.
Using Persona Life Skills together with Vivi, the learning journey is enhanced. Both students and teachers can more easily share ideas and output, discuss, and provide feedback. This enriched experience provides opportunities for collaboration, shared sustained dialogue and live assessment – all at the click of a Vivi button.
(Ensuring a safe, respectful and non-judgemental classroom is of course very important when sharing students’ screens. See the Persona Life Skills Code of Conduct.)
In Persona Life Skills students develop and learn to apply 22 social-emotional skills (see the full list here) that support personal development. Each of the Vivi features taps into some of these skills, giving the students an opportunity to put them into practice and improve.
1. STUDENT CONTROL: Students share ideas visually
In Persona Life Skills modules, students are frequently asked to express their thoughts in open text, as well as a range of interactive activities such as checklists, drag and drop, word fill and even reordering exercises.
In all these activities, being able to give STUDENT CONTROL of the screen(s) allows them to share their ideas visually with the teacher and their peers. This facilitates wider group participation than the teacher leading from the front and students responding verbally. This sharing option allows for live teacher and peer assessment as well as discussions about individuals’ ideas that would usually only be seen by the student and teacher.
For example, in the drag and drop activity below, a teacher may ask for a student to volunteer to share their screen and talk through their choice of answers as they complete the exercise. This type of open dialogue supports metacognition and helps other students literally see their peers’ thinking in action.
Student Control supports these skills:
2. SURROUND SCREEN: Students focus
As a teacher, sometimes we want to control what our students are viewing and lead them through a learning journey. More often than not, we have to rely on students disregarding their own screens and being disciplined enough to watch the teacher’s screen at the front of the room. This can be difficult for many students, especially those who are more easily distracted or who simply find it more difficult to focus on a screen at a distance.
The SURROUND SCREEN feature – syncing all screens in the room to show the same thing – can be used across many aspects of the Persona Life Skills platform. For example, as a teacher you may wish to guide students on completing their Persona Insights Questions – the personality quiz at the heart of the platform – or their Persona Adaptability Questions. A great way to do this is SURROUND SCREEN, mirroring your own screen whilst you work through your own Persona Insights Questions or Persona Adaptability Questions.
By sharing this experience with your students, you are not only helping them prepare for answering their own quiz. You are also modelling your behaviour as you talk through your thoughts when answering the questions, and then going on to look at and interpret your Persona Insights results
Surround Screen supports these skills:
3. Split Screen: Students respect each other’s contributions
SPLIT SCREEN is one of the most powerful and original features in the Vivi ecosystem. It allows up to four users to share their ideas and thoughts on one screen, split into four quadrants.
Learning to recognise and acknowledge that everyone has a unique mix of personality styles, and that there are differences (as well as similarities) between us – with no value judgement – is the critical first step in the Persona Life Skills learning journey.
It empowers students to understand that everyone thinks, communicates and behaves differently, and that they themselves may need to adapt during interactions, in order to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
Many of the activities in Persona Life Skills ask students for personal reflection, and do not have a right or wrong answer. They are therefore very well suited to group discussion and sharing of ideas and opinions.
In the example below, the teacher is sharing Persona Insights from four students to seed a group discussion. The teacher shares the split screen and invites all students in the group to comment on how each student communicates, and how that relates to their mix of personality styles. This activity could then lead on to students discussing their own Persona Insights in pairs.
Split Screen supports these skills:
- Critical Thinking
Learning how to navigate situations where personality differences can affect outcomes, through Open-mindedness, is instrumental to achieving better outcomes. Being open-minded allows our students to become good citizens on a local, national and global stage.
4. SCREENSHOT/ANNOTATE: Students offer solutions to problems
ANNOTATE is a great feature to take problem-solving exercises to the next level. Simply, Providing students with a SCREENSHOT which they ANNOTATE with initial thoughts and ideas, before submitting their final answer, supports an understanding of the iterative process behind effective problem-solving.
For example, in Persona Life Skills there are some activities that work best in pairs or in group discussion, where students share and discuss ideas with peers before finalising their thoughts. The ability to ANNOTATE a screenshot while discussing their ideas is a perfect way to support collaborative thinking and iteration.
Screenshot/Annotate supports these skills:
5. FEEDBACK: Students give and receive feedback
Feedback should be a two-way exchange. It allows peers to offer one another feedback (peer assessment) as well as the more traditional exchange with their teachers.
Using Vivi’s FEEDBACK options, students have tools (eg. multiple choice) to feedback on what they have seen and heard from their teacher as well as their peers whilst carrying out activities in Persona Life Skills.
For example, a key component of forming healthy relationships with friends or colleagues, is identifying their unique mix of personality styles, so you can adapt how to communicate and behave with them. This ability to adapt leads to better outcomes that benefit both people.
Here is a Persona Community map showing where each student’s Persona is focused. The teacher can first use SURROUND SCREEN to share this with all the students and then, using FEEDBACK, ask a series of multiple choice questions to test students’ understanding of the personality styles.
For example, “Which student has a very balanced mix of all four personality styles?”
A = Ryan
B = Jimmy
C = Roger (correct)
D = Boi
Feedback supports these skills:
- Staying Positive
- Managing Feelings
The important social-emotional skill of Adaptability is developed to an optimum level when a student moves from simply meeting their own needs and preferences, to meeting the needs of others as well.
Students’ ability to adapt is accelerated if they learn to give as well as accept feedback constructively, allowing them to foster a growth mindset.
Persona Education offers free access to its Persona Life Skills online learning platform for secondary schools and colleges interested in developing their students’ social-emotional life skills, to boost wellbeing and employability. To request a live demo of the platform please get in touch – we would love to talk to you!
About the author: Dr Leila Khouja Walker has been working in the education sector for 25 years. An ex-teacher and pastoral deputy head, she is now a respected edtech and pedagogy thought leader, leading development of the personality insights life skills e-learning app Persona Life Skills, at the Bristol based edtech company Persona Education Ltd. www.persona-life.com