At first Smyface looks like a cute little toy but this is an excellent tool for gauging the mood and feelings of your students in a safe non-threatening way. Smyface is an excellent example of how technology can assist in the pastoral care of your students. It gives a very real voice to a shy or quiet kid but more importantly it gives a voice to those kids that we would consider to be “at risk.”
For many of the students that we teach Smyface may be irrelevant most of the time but for those students who are struggling with their work or do not understand a maths problem this is a safe and easy way for them to let you know how much it is effecting them. All they need to do is pick a face, write how they feel and email it to you. Very simple!
I might run this as a three minute reflection at the beginning of the day and then repeat it again at the end of the day. The beauty of Smyface is the second half of the idea;
Your students can actually tell you what is wrong without having that conversation that many may not have because they find it embarrassing. This might be even more important for a student that is suffering from bullying, has a really sick parent or grandparent or is in a situation that requires intervention.
This is a fun and engaging tool that might encourage students to open up to a significant adult. It could even be used as a way of introducing the concept of emotions, feelings and empathy - especially with boys. What a good way to illustrate how our actions have an impact on how other people feel. This cute little toy could be the catalyst for a real learning moment.