February 22, 2024

How YouUplift’s School Kindness eWalls are empowering students to use their mics for good

Be sure to check out the suggested Huddle question at the bottom of this article to discuss this important topic with your students in class, if you feel it is appropriate.

The messaging and display company YouUplift is introducing its “School Kindness eWalls” to Utah schools free of charge for 2024, thanks to the sponsorship of Weber State University. To foster a new kind of social media that is always positive, the eWall allows anyone involved with any K-12 school — public, private, or other — to submit positive messages about their school community. 

With the eWall, students post positive quotes, photos, videos, and gifs through a central link, and schools add these messages to rotating displays on monitors, share them on social media, or embed them on their websites. A faculty member approves every message before it’s posted, ensuring the eWall stays kind and that students are playing to their core values.

YouUplift is an example of a technology company empowering students to use their mics for good and use tech for good. With the Kindness eWall, students can reflect on the positive impact of peers, faculty, and staff in their schools and share about these people with others. This tool’s success and positive reception show how quickly kindness catches on: studies show that just one happy post can inspire 1.75 more happy posts. By equipping students with tools and motivation to use their online and offline platforms for good, educators can inspire a domino effect of kindness among their students. 

eWalls inspire students to acknowledge school role models

Utah schools are embracing eWalls. By Feb. 16, 125 schools in Utah started using the Kindness eWall platform; an additional 20 are currently onboarding. Around the country, YouUplift boasts 15,600+ monthly Kindness eWall users and 605,000 annual website views. Alongside Utah, schools in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia can also use the platform free of charge during 2024 due to university or corporate sponsorships. Outside of these states, K-12 schools can activate a 30-day free trial of eWalls for their schools by completing a short form on YouUplift’s website.

Students, parents, and educators are using the board to spread joy and share strong connections within their school communities. Whether it’s sharing a silly gif expressing school spirit, a favorite memory with a friend, or a message of appreciation for a faculty member, students across the country are highlighting and strengthening bonds within their schools with the Kindness eWall.

Golden Spike Elementary School (GSES) in Brigham City, Utah, is one school that has started using Kindness eWalls, rotating kind messages publicly on their website. By publishing these rotating boards online, GSES promotes kindness among its students and staff and provides an inspiring example for educators about the kindness students can and will spread with the right encouragement and platform.

“We love our STEM Lab teacher, Mrs. Brown!” said one student on the eWall. “She keeps our lab so clean and organized! She always has a smile for us when we come in each week. And she is quick to solve problems and find solutions when needed. We are so grateful to have Mrs. Brown at Golden Spike! She is simply amazing!”

One message rotating on GSES’s virtual Kindness eWall

This example vividly demonstrates how technology, like the eWall, can be a catalyst for positive change in schools. With its simple online submission system and similarity to social media platforms students are familiar with, like X or Instagram, the eWall is an intuitive, simple way for students to share happy experiences and thoughts. This helps students feel closer to their peers and educators and nurtures a culture of appreciation within school communities. The eWall shows how technology can foster positivity and connection, proving its potential for good.

How educators can empower students to spread joy and positivity, online and offline

Educators play a pivotal role in shaping students’ emotional and social skills, making them uniquely positioned to empower students to use technology platforms for good. The Kindness eWall is one tool educators can use, but there are many other ways to encourage students to uplift and support others online and offline.

  • Celebrate acts of kindness: By acknowledging and appreciating when students are kind to one another in the classroom, educators can reinforce those behaviors and build positive habits.
  • Foster an inclusive, supportive classroom environment: Encourage all students to speak their minds and validate their opinions. Teaching students that their opinions matter empowers them to speak up about the people who inspire them and to improve their communities.
  • Help students practice using social media for good: Consider designing activities where students develop awareness campaigns or promote their favorite activities on social media. Let students get creative about the specifics, like the messages they share and the people who see their posts.

When students use their mics for good, they create respectful, positive environments that benefit everyone. For more tips on helping students spread kindness and make meaningful change, check out our #WinAtSocial Lesson, “Coaching Your School on How to Use Social Media to Build a Stronger School Community.” 

#WinAtSocial Huddle Question
Huddle with your students
In addition to the Kindness eWall, what are other creative ways students can spread positivity and kindness within their school communities? How can students use technology and social media platforms to uplift others and create a culture of kindness?

The Social Institute (TSI) is the leader in empowering students by understanding students. Through #WinAtSocial, our gamified, peer-to-peer learning platform, we equip students, educators, and families to navigate their social world – in the classroom and beyond, online and offline – in healthy, high-character ways. Our unique, student-respected approach empowers and equips, rather than scares and restricts. We incorporate timely topics about social media, tech use, and current events that are impacting student well-being and learning. #WinAtSocial Lessons teach life skills for the modern day, capture student voice, and provide school leaders with actionable insights. Through these insights, students play an essential role in school efforts to support their own health, happiness, and future success as we enable high-impact teaching, meaningful family conversations, and a healthy school culture.