Advisee group at KO is not just an ordinary homeroom period, but rather an opportunity to connect with fellow advisee members and check in with advisors. In the past, advisee group time was not really structured, allowing advisors to choose what occurred during advisee time. However, this year KO has brought a new program to advisee groups; Win At Social, is an online platform, aimed at nurturing students’ social and emotional health through online lessons and discussions.
Once a week, advisee group members go to the Win At Social website on their phones to enter a code and choose an icon to log in to their advisor’s game. During the game, the platform generates questions from one of seven categories. The questions generated range from enjoyable “would-you-rather” questions to more serious ones designed to spark discussion about relevant issues.
Guidance Counselor Chasity Rodriguez and Director of Equity Joan Edwards originally heard about the Win At Social platform at a conference for Connecticut high schools. Ms. Rodriguez and Ms. Edwards were intrigued by this platform, so they decided they wanted to make it a part of the KO community.
Ms. Edwards said that the program was quite attractive to them as educators because it provided an easier way for the teachers to communicate ideas of what it means to be a part of the world today. “We’re all so busy as teachers and students,” Ms. Edwards said. “What would be a tool that would allow us to have more engaging conversations without requiring teachers to come up with all of the topics? The answer: Win at Social.”
They brought the idea to KO’s Board of Student Life, where it was approved to be implemented in this year’s advisee group period. Ms. Edwards admitted that this platform will not fix all our issues, but it will definitely help KO as a community. “It won’t fix all of the issues that we have as a community and making sense of the world,” Ms. Edwards said. “But like any tool, it can’t fix everything but it can address certain needs.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Win at Social program can be even more helpful to students. “There’s a lot of uncertainty,” Ms. Edwards said. “And in that uncertainty, it leaves the need for conversations about what the challenges and uncertainties are.”
Some students said they were were uncertain about the practicality of the platform. “I think it would be more effective if the teachers just asked us the questions and discussed instead of using our phones,” senior Emma Henry said. “Because I feel like the use of technology just makes the discussion awkward.”
Despite minor flaws, students are beginning to see the benefits of Win At Social. Some students seemed to think that this platform is a beneficial way to generate a conversation that would not usually occur within advisee groups. “Win at Social is a good way to spark conversations when people wouldn’t necessarily ask themselves those questions during advisee group,” Emma said.