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Closegap

Daily snapshots of student well-being with strategies for struggles

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 1 review

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Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

K–12

Subjects & Skills

Character & SEL, Health & Wellness

Great for

SEL

Price: Free
Platforms: Web

Pros: Online questionnaire format offers a non-threatening way to reach students who may be reluctant to ask for help.

Cons: Check-ins can start to feel repetitive after a few rounds, and there's potential for poor implementation that could do more harm than good.

Bottom Line: This quick, easy way to consistently assess students' emotional health requires thoughtful implementation.

How Can I Teach with This Tool?

Teachers can use Closegap for consistent check-ins on emotional health. Give students space and privacy to answer the questions as honestly as possible, and then do the suggested activity. Start to finish, the check-in takes about five minutes, so it can easily fit into the school day. Though it could be useful for K-12 -- and the check-ins adjust to grade band -- the interface could seem too "babyish" for older grades, leading kids to abuse the system. The paid version allows for customization, which could be critical for some communities. 

The most important thing teachers need to keep in mind is that some students may be asking for help -- either by directly requesting to talk to an adult, or indirectly through their responses. Teachers need to be sure to keep up on reviewing their students' check-ins so that they can offer help in a timely way. There is a response guide for teachers who aren't sure how to address the check-ins, but if educators are uncomfortable with the process, it's best left to those who are so that students don't pick up on ambivalence (which they might think is about them). Also, communicating a student's status to parents could be problematic if a situation at home is contributing to difficult feelings. There may also be students who truly don't want to check in and share their status as school is a safe escape from their circumstances, and they don't want to connect those feelings to school at all. So, while the platform itself is very thoughtfully created and aligned to SEL standards, it's critical to introduce, implement, and maintain it in ways that best serve your school community.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

A quick series of questions use clear language and graphics. The automated responses are empathetic, understanding, and encouraging.

Pedagogy

Students practice emotional awareness and expression through regular check-ins. A few suggestions for self-care exercises teach coping mechanisms.

Support

Teachers see summaries of their students' check-ins. Students needing further assistance are clearly highlighted. Questions adjust based on age range.

Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

Closegap and Student Wellbeing: Maggie Hall and Anna Schulte

Overall, this tool is a great resource that I believe students and teachers should be encouraged more to use. Mental health is a problem that so often gets overlooked or brushed off. It is important sometimes to take a step back, and think about your mental well being. Closegap gives students an opportunity to speak their mind in a safe space. Closegap gives teachers another way to get to know their students, which helps this resource fall under the TPACK model. The SAMR model also helps us classify how this resource is adding to the classroom. Specifically, Closegap encapsulated augmentation pretty well. Closegap gives students a direct substitute resource through a technological medium that will functionally improve the relationships between students and teachers.

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Privacy Rating

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