#Edchat Summary: Bringing Students into the Discussion to Improve Schools by @inquirebook

Guest post from @inquirebook in the #Edchat Category & other 12noon NYC summaries found on Berni Wall’s blog!

Today’s #edchat topic, How do we bring students into the discussion on how to improve the school environment? was intriguing. In the discussion, most participants pointed out that we cannot invite students to the table unless we are also prepared to work with their suggestions. A few focused on how a shift in culture needs to occur, one in which students take ownership of their own educations and learn to advocate for themselves. Some pointed out that students who are allowed to make their own choices often make bad choices, but others argued that the only way to learn how to make decisions is to make many decisions. The group generally agreed that if students are invited to offer suggestions, they should also be part of solving the problem, not just leaving adults to do the solving.

At a future #Edchat I’d be interested in discussing, What alternative models would allow the government to ensure school quality without relying on high-stakes testing?

Main Themes of the Chat

  • We need to listen to students.
  • We need to help students develop a sense of ownership in their educations.
  • To do so, we need a shift in school culture.
  • Students need to make decisions–many of them–and mistakes in order to learn to be problem solvers.
  • Digital solutions could give everyone a voice and provide students a format they understand.

Thought-Provoking Comments

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that inspired me and made me reflect.

@TJwolfe_: First of all, let students speak!! Stop lecturing and start listening! #edchat
@tomwhitby: We cannot invite students to the table unless we are willing to accept what they have to offer. #Edchat
@inquirebook: I think we first ask students what the goals of school should be–a guiding question for their inquiry. #edchat
@TheresaShafer: Have open forums for students, not just elected student councils. #edchat
@jessievaz12: We recently asked our 6th gr stdts to brainstorm ideas on how to improve transition from 5th. Amazing what came out. #edchat
@tomwhitby: We need the leadership to accept the fact that the learning environment needs change, and opinions for that change. #Edchat
@davidwees: If our schools are to be representations of our democracy, they must be more democratic. All stakeholders need a voice. #edchat
@Aaron_Eyler: How about realizing that just because they are kids doesn’t mean their ideas aren’t better than those with degrees? #edchat
@davidwees: Students learn how to make decisions by making decisions, lots of them. #edchat
@tsocko: Put the discussion in a format that kid communicate…digital! #edchat
@inquirebook: If students take ownership of their education, it ceases to be something *done* to them. #edchat
@tomwhitby: Teaching kids HOW to learn seems more important than WHAT to learn. Involving kids in the decision process is a HOW to learn thing #Edchat
@jheil65: Hard to change the environment w/o first changing the culture. . .Create the kind of school you want and the environment will follow #edchat
@21stprincipal: Students have to believe they have a say in what happens in their school. #edchat
@tomwhitby: If kids own an idea, they are more likely to support it. Works for teachers as well. #Edchat
@shfarnsworth: We must teach our students to transform their voice into a mean for change. How to inspire/create action! Responsible Citizen #edchat
@monicaannebatac: Students must learn 2 be activists & advocates for themselves – in school & beyond. – & also listen 2 and consider other voices #edchat
@jaluribe: Participation has to start in kindergarten. Older students can be like birds in open cages. Believing they can’t fly. #edchat
@CTuckerEnglish: Including all student voices is logistically challenging. Using an online forum might allow for equity of voices in convo #edchat
@TJwolfe_: We need to make school decision making into a teachable moment for everyone! Students included. #edchat
@ShellTerrell: Getting students involved in edreform begins with a question & continues with implementation of ideas #edchat
@Aaron_Eyler: It is totally a heretical thing. Ppl in charge didnt get listened to in school so they don’t listen to kids today. #edchat #breakthecycle
@CTuckerEnglish: If we engage students in process of determining how to best improve schools, that creates buy in & accountability. #edchat

To follow the complete discussion visit the transcript here!

More Resources

As ever, there were some great links shared:

@readingrockets: What makes a school good? http://ow.ly/6gDjp
@Inga_Ros I spoke about that at the #140edu You can see my presentation here http://t.co/TIKYnXo
@edutopia: Worth a read. RT @kylepace: What Schools Can Learn Frm #Google, IDEO, & Pixar http://t.co/42W2sfz

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 3000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat

Challenge:

If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment!

______________________________________________________________________________

I’m Rob King, lead author of Inquire: a Guide to 21st Century Learning. It’s a student handbook that teaches 21st century skills, study skills, inquiry, and project-based learning. I’m also editor in chief at Sebranek, Inc., the parent company of Write Source, UpWrite Press, and Thoughtful Learning. To learn more, go to www.thoughtfullearning.com.

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#Edchat Summary: Social Media’s Impact on Professional Development for Educators by @USCTeacher

Guest post from @USCTeacher in the #Edchat Category & other 12noon NYC summaries found on Berni Wall’s blog!

Today’s #edchat topic, What effect has social media (SM) had in your development as an educator? Is SM for every educator?, was intriguing. The topic pulled in both personal reflection for participators to think about their usage of social media as an educator as well as think about social media globally as a part of their profession. What was also great about this topic is that it made participators think not only about their usage of social media, but their colleagues, giving them a broader perspective on social media in general and in the education world. Personally, social media has changed my world in regards to professional development and building a PLN – I’ve been able to connect with educators all over the world as well as watch students in the program I work for (the MAT@USC) connect and share across oceans. Social media might not be for everyone in the “first person” sense, but at a minimal, is necessary to use and develop with colleagues.

At a future #Edchat I’d be interested in discussing, How can we encourage using SM in higher-ed? — Are there benefits?

Main Themes of the Chat

  •  Social medial allows professional development amongst educators
  •  Professional development has become global and personal thanks to social media
  •  Twitter can be used as a springboard to other things – depth, collaboration, projects
  • Social media may not be for every educator, but it effects all educators
  • Teaching both students and teachers how to use social media will help us learn
  • Social media must be taught by doing

Thought-Provoking Comments

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that inspired me and made me reflect.

1. @tomwhitby: How can we hold kids responsible for misusing SM when we refuse to teach it to them responsibly? #Edchat
2. @monicaannebatac: YES! Safe, responsible use of SM is necessary from teachers and students alike #edchat
3. @drdouggreen: You convince others what they are missing by having them sit next to you during an edchat. #edchat
4. @davidwees: SM is a tool WE can define edu reform & transform #edchat
5. @CTuckerEnglish: SM can be overwhelming 4 new user. Trick is to start slow. Find a tool that works & appreciate benefits then branch out #edchat
6. @jessievaz12: I love SM because it has awakened my passion in my prof. It makes me want 2B more progressive & find something to share w others #edchat
7. @MrMatthewRay: The world has changed rapidly – education has not. It must. SM is huge component. #edchat
8. @isteconnects: All educators should have basic understanding of social media. It’s ignorance that breeds fear of the tools #edchat
9. @teewhyare: that’s exactly what social media is intended to be: one large classroom w/ no tuition. This is my playground and class. #edchat
10. @davidwees: What would happen if every school was connected by at least 1 person through social media to every other school? #edchat
11. @courosa: i don’t know if SocMed is that which is unforgiving – it’s ppl that are. SocMed just exposes our raw humanity. #edchat
12. @timbuckteeth: we teach kids to cross street safely, must do same with SM – they’ll be using it anyway. #edchat
13. @inquirebook: I like the immediacy of Twitter. I get my breaking education news here. #edchat
14. @cybraryman1: I love the fact that when I do not know something there is always someone in my PLN who has the answer. #edchat

To follow the complete discussion visit the transcript here!

More Resources

As ever, there were some great links shared:

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 3000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat

Challenge:

If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment!

______________________________________________________________________________

Sarah Fudin currently works as a community manager for the University of Southern California’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, which provides aspiring teachers the opportunity to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential online. Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading and Pinkberry frozen yogurt.

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Happy Birthday! #Edchat Turns 2!

Part of the #Edchat Category

#Edchat turns TWO this week!

Thank You

For the last 2 years #Edchat has been the birth of  conversation for over 2000 educators weekly on how to improve education worldwide! #Edchat has created real change by igniting new projects, adding more educators to the conversation, inspiring over 400 educational chats, inspiring a new school, inspiring a free online conference with over 4000 attendees, and so much more. The conversation began 2 years ago with 3 educators- (Tom Whitby (@TomWhitby), Steven Anderson (@Web20Classroom), and (@ShellTerrell))- who desired education transformation and saw the need for educational stakeholders to discuss, debate, explore, reflect, react, and act on various issues which impact education. For this reason, I would argue that #Edchat is one of the most powerful hashtags creating real change in schools.
You can engage in the movement by:

  • suggesting topics on the poll
  • voting for topics
  • engaging in the discussion
  • blogging about the conversations
  • inviting friends to the conversation
  • presenting about the educator communities that exist
  • transforming the conversation into action at your schools

In it’s two years, #Edchat has inspired, motivated, and transform educational stakeholders. We have a diverse group of student teachers, parents, students, administrators, and community leaders who participate weekly in order to collaborate on improving our education systems worldwide!

This was last year’s Wallwisher! Please continue the tradition by adding how Edchat has impacted you!

Helpful Edchat Resources!

Edchat is transformational because of you! Here are helpful resources to become more involved or to help introduce educators to Edchat!

We’d like to thank the following for their weekly dedication to Edchat:

Challenge:

Get another educator involved in the Edchat conversations which take place every Tuesday at 12pm NYC EDT and 7pm NYC EDT! Participate by engaging a few and adding #Edchat to the end of your tweet.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

What would you like to see from Edchat this upcoming year?

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Student Perspectives on Digital Natives & Technology in Schools

Yesterday was the last #Edchat of the year and it definitely ranked as one of my favorites. During the 12pm EST/ 5pm GMT #Edchat, we discussed:

Is the idea of digital native really a myth? Do most kids today already have the skills and knowledge to master technology for learning?

We were fortunate to have students join this conversation. I would like to thank Tinashe Blanchet (@Mrsblanchetnet) and Angel Gelle Dozier (@Gellesastar) for having their students join the conversation. This was a unique opportunity to get the student perspective on the idea of the Digital Native Theory and some of their responses were quite surprising. I hope they will join us again for another #Edchat because discussions about education need to have varied perspectives from the various educational stakeholders involved.

What Do the Students Think?

As a moderator I took the opportunity of interviewing the students during the discussion to get their ideas on the use of technology in schools. These were some of the insights from the conversation:

  • The 6th graders seemed more excited about using Facebook and cellphones for learning
  • The high school students seemed to believe that these tools would be abused
  • Both groups confirmed that their parents for the most part were unhappy about the impact of technology in their lives

These insights suggest we need to educate both parents and students in the use of technology in schools. Gellesastar‘s 6th graders suggested we involve parents by having online PTA meetings so that the parents see how effective technology can be. I think teachers can be very proactive about getting parents and students to understand the benefits of using certain technologies for learning by holding parent workshops that demonstrate what technologies will be used and how, blogging about student projects, publishing student work, creating video tutorials that show parents how to use the technologies, and being transparent about how they use technology to help students learn.

Here are the responses from the high school students and 6th graders:

Students on Edchat 1Students on Edchat 2

@Gellesastar‘s 6th graders were so excited about the idea of learning through Facebook and cellphones they stood up and applauded in the classroom! They were even motivated to add more responses in a Google Doc. Here is the screenshot of that Google Doc:

6th grade responses

Challenge:

Ask your students the same questions. How do they feel about using cellphones or Facebook for learning? Do they believe they are digital natives?

You may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

What are your thoughts about the students’ comments?

Screenshots taken from the collected conversations aggregated by Bettween.com!

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Happy Birthday #Edchat PLN!

#Edchat turns ONE this week!

THANK YOU!

It has been an incredible year of opening a conversation to over 2000 educators weekly! The conversation began a year ago with 3 educators (Tom Whitby (@TomWhitby), Steven Anderson (@Web20Classroom), and I (@ShellTerrell)) who desired education reform and saw the need for educational stakeholders to discuss, debate, explore, and reflect on various issues which impact education. This was how the hashtag, #Edchat, began but really it has been an amazing year because you contribute each week by:

  • suggesting topics on the poll
  • voting for topics
  • engaging in the discussion
  • transforming the conversation into action at your schools

In it’s first year, #Edchat has inspired, motivated, and transform educational stakeholders. We have a diverse group of student teachers, parents, students, administrators, and community leaders who participate weekly in order to collaborate on improving our education systems worldwide!

In the first year, Edchat has seen great moments, such as:

  • winning the Edublogs Award for Most Influential Tweet Discussion
  • involving guest speaker Alfie Kohn!
  • being a trending topic on Twitter!
  • inspiring several blog posts from educators worldwide
  • birthing collaborative projects, such as The Reform Symposium E-Conference

Please leave a message of how Edchat has impacted you on this Wallwisher by clicking anywhere on the wall!

Helpful Edchat Resources!

Edchat is transformational because of you! Here are helpful resources to become more involved or to help introduce educators to Edchat!

We’d like to thank the following for their weekly dedication to Edchat:

Challenge:

Get another educator involved in the Edchat conversations which take place every Tuesday at 12pm NYC EDT and 7pm NYC EDT! Participate by engaging a few and adding #Edchat to the end of your tweet.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

What would you like to see from Edchat this upcoming year?


Bookmark and Share

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