Student Voice and School Design

    "When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful." ~ Malala Yousafzai   I was doing a bit of organizing and cleaning of my files last night when I came across a report that I had written in 2008 when I was a learning technologies coordinator. In late 2007, upon the request of my superintendent, I organized and ran a Student Voices Forum on Technology with the purpose of gathering input from some of our high school students on the current state of technology in schools and more importantly what they thought school needed in order to help them learn. We invited 2 students from each high school to participate in a variety of activities with no teacher or adult support other than 6 learning technologies coordinators to guide and facilitate the conversations. The students did a masterful job of articulating their thoughts and ideas for...
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Discovering Students' Passions

  "Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you're passionate about something, then you're more willing to take risks." ~ Yo-Yo Ma   It's amazing what you discover when you take a moment to talk with a student. As an administrator at a large elementary school it's challenging to know all the students. I mean really know all the students. What they're passionate about, what they like and dislike and their aspirations. Yesterday was one of those moments where I found myself discovering something special about a student that I probably wouldn't have known if I hadn't taken the time to visit her classroom and have a conversation with her about her work. In my post yesterday I committed to being present and observant during my month of blogging and for that I am so thankful. My normal routine is to visit some classrooms when I'm free...
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Increasing Student Voice

Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to present to administrators at Thames Valley's annual tech conference iCon12.  I offered to present on the topic of increasing student engagement and voice through video announcements.  Although I knew about video announcements I didn't pursue it for our school until one of our teachers came back from a PD session and thought it would be a great project.  So together we did a bit of research and costing for the project and put the plan into action.  We were able to fund the project from 4 areas:  School budget, District based ICT funds, a Home & School donation and a "Speak Up" grant from the Ministry of Education.  If you are interested in doing something similar at your school here are a few questions to consider. How will you fund the project?   Do you have a space that could act as your...
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