Take a look inside 5 images
Pros: Tranquil narrations and soothing graphics enhance the meditative experience, making it achievable for even the most novice of practitioners.
Cons: Some users may find that audio-only guided scripts make it hard to pay attention.
Bottom Line: If you're looking for a captivating app to teach relaxation and calming skills to students, Calm is an essential tool to add to your toolbox.
Since Calm allows for a ton of customization, teachers can engage students in a collaborative, whole-group discussion on how to choose peaceful background noise and animated images for the day. Teachers could also set up a relaxation station in their classroom for students to use the app -- with attached headphones -- at their leisure after instruction. After recess or before a test, consider using this app in a whole-group session to help students relax or transition to a new activity.
Consider incorporating a math component with Calm by asking for "pre-session" feelings and "post-session" feelings and charting the outcome in bar or line graphs. For teachers who have young students, Calm's Sleep Stories might be useful for rest time. Additionally, when teaching coping and calming skills, teachers could use this app to show students how to focus on slowing down their fight-or-flight responses by using the Breathe function.
Calm opens by instructing users to take a deep breath before landing on the home screen. This home screen can be customized, and users can choose from a range of more than 30 nature scenes and sounds to fit their preference. From this point, users can either complete a daily meditation that's provided, choose a sleep meditation, or practice deep breathing. If students choose to complete a meditation, they can choose from a list of more than 25 programs such as body scans, stories for kids, meditations for commuting, calming anxiety, demonstrating kindness, and more. Sleep Stories are fiction or nonfiction narrated stories that can be listened to before rest, which automatically shut off the app once the story finishes.
If students choose to practice deep breathing, they can follow a customizable animated bubble that expands and compresses to simulate inhaling and exhaling. Additionally, students can check their profile settings to set mindfulness reminders, link to Apple Health, analyze session history, invite friends, share statistics, or check their calendar to see how many consecutive days are included in their "streak."
Calm presents an experience that is wholly devoted to its original intent: guiding relaxation. This app includes a robust level of content, which allows for extensive amounts of learning with daily lessons that are sure to last for several weeks, if not months. Not only does this app instruct users who are new to meditation and relaxation on how to begin this practice, but it offers scaffolding approaches to promote independence and generalization. A responsive calendar tracks the amount of time users spend on sessions, which users can share to social media to engage other learners. The app has built-in programs that can be tailored to mastery level, age level, or area of interest.
Calm also links to additional resources in a blog community that has frequent posts to extend the in-app experience for parents, teachers, and practitioners alike. Overall this app promotes the essence of learning relaxation, and while the assistive technology may be slightly one-sided (for example, audio-only meditations), Calm presents a uniquely fresh and empowering experience for users of any age.