Why? It’s simple-- the learning journey, they way every student sees, experiences & feels valued & welcomed as a collaborator within the environment of shared space weaves the very fabric of our future.
As you sit & consider the weight of what all this means & contemplate the HOW of making it happen in your classroom for your students, ask yourself this--”What did 5 year, 10 year, or 17 year old me want to tell the teacher? The world?” Now ask yourself “Why that didn’t happen?” or if it did happen remind yourself of how it happened.
Student Voice is not just something we do with technology. It’s a pedagogy. When blended these two powerful forces can change the mode, volume & distance in which student voice can be created, heard & have impact.
Working in a small suburban school district in Norton, Massachusetts, we find ourselves using creative thinking & leveraging resources to provide students with engaging, meaningful & authentic learning experiences.
Across the grade levels & across curriculum, here are some ways the district I work in has embedded opportunities for students voice to be heard both academically & socially. Perhaps you will be inspired to try something similar in your classroom or district!
Flipgrid Monday Morning Meet Up- In one specialized program, each Monday a student assumes the role of creating a Flipgrid Topic to discuss, share & contemplate through interactive videos. Students respond to the topic as well as to each other’s responses. Students share perspectives while respectfully engaging in dialogue expanding their knowledge & exercising their ability to express opinions, ideas, solutions & more.
Lancer Film Festival “The Lancer Film Festival was created to celebrate media & multimedia projects produced by Norton's students & staff. The Festival showcases what can be accomplished when talented students & dedicated educators work together to integrate media into our schools.” - Karen Winsper, Director of Instructional Technology, Norton Public Schools
Spread The Word to End the Word Campaign Schools & classrooms throughout the district support encourage any students who wish to to sign the pledge. This campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word to facilitate more accepting attitudes & communities. Pledging as a district to use respectful, people-first language is a student voice which is amplified both locally & globally.
GSA Day of Silence Students are invited to participate in the Day of Silence during lunches in support of The National Day of Silence each April. This national youth movement guides focus to the silence faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, & questioning individuals. The silence during lunches symbolizes the silence which is exemplified by anti-LGBTQ bullying, name-calling, & harassment.
EdCampSoutheasternMA Student Panel As we head to our 3rd year organizing #EdCampSEMass, the student panel will be back again by popular demand! Students & attendees leave the conversation with fresh, new ideas & considerations that if not for the dialogue may never had made the radar.
Read here for a first hand student blog account of what the student panel offers for student voice!