free up a teacher from having to be a tech guru on an unlimited range of new tools and technology. Students can work with other students across multiple ages, grades, languages, and ability levels.
Vision to Action — Walking the Talk
Quick-look: Four Models of Student Involvement in Technology Planning and Implementation Students as trainers and support Students can be excellent trainers for instructional technology, and are systems for staff and teachers often patient and supportive with teachers who need in-class support. Students can be sent to vendor training sessions, give trainings, or be available for one-on-one support. Students as technical support Students can be taught troubleshooting, hardware and software basics, agents networking, and how to do inventory. Focus on classroom teacher support to minimize security issues and maximize impact on technology integration in the classroom. Students as planners, resource Students can serve on technology planning committees, create developers and communicators curriculum resources, help guides, documents, presentations, videos, and websites for class, school, or community use. Students can be involved in monitoring safe and ethical use of new technology, such as email and Web 2.0 tools, along with planning and implementing their use in the classroom, and communication with parents and the community. Students can “walk the talk” of student empowerment to the community, school board, at conferences, or other situations. Students as peer-mentors, peer- Students can teach and mentor other students, can sit on panels that reviewers and peer-leaders debate and assign consequences for student violations of school policy, and participate in leadership opportunities tied to technology.
Planning to include students in real roles and authentic tasks is just the first step.The new roles, classes, organizations or clubs will need support and supervision to start up and sustain. • Provide access for students to training, hardware and software as needed. • Put an adult advisor in charge who has a passion for student empowerment, not necessarily a tech guru. • Allow time for the plan to come together. Students will not automatically know how to participate in these opportunities; there must be time and attention given to helping them grow into these roles. • Don’t forget your younger students. It’s never too early for authentic learning opportunities, and these students can be surprisingly helpful with concrete, well-defined tasks. • Plan for turnover. Constantly recruit and train new students. Allow veteran student leaders to mentor new recruits. • Look for ways to incentivize long-term student involvement. Make student involvement part of a credit-bearing class, qualify for graduation or service-learning credit, an independent study position, college credit or an internship. • Prepare staff and administration about the upcoming student involvement. • Don’t mistake the ease with which youth today use technology in their everyday life for knowing how it can be used in educational settings.Teach them appropriate use of technology and how it can be used to enhance learning.
of any age work together and learn that each has expertise that is valuable, it creates respect for one another and deepens the capacity of the whole community to learn and grow.This kind of healthy learning culture should be the goal of every school. Sylvia Libow Martinez is President of Generation YES, a non-profit with a mission of empowering young people to improve their schools and communities with modern technology.
The Bottom Line — Collaboration Builds Mutual Respect Student involvement in technology planning and implementation is more than just eraser clapping for the 21st century. Students sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for technology can provide much needed help. In return, they experience adults as real human beings striving to make the world a better place. As teachers and other adults follow their passion for improving education, they see children in a new light as competent partners. When caring adults share their expertise about navigating the adult world, students gain more than skills, they gain life experience of working with others to achieve goals that aren’t defined by tests and grades. The notion that respect is one of the main by-products of collaboration about technology use may seem old-fashioned and quaint.Yet this theme rises above all others. When people www.seenmagazine.us
SouthEast Education Network FALL 2013
Southeast Education Network issue 15.2