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What do students think about coding?
One of my favorite times of year is December because it is time for the Hour of Code! Although it is the topic I teach that I know least about, or I should say have the most to learn about, I still love the thrill of introducing students to coding. The Hour of Code () is designed to get students and teachers involved in coding. The site offers different levels, games design options, activities that involve student's favorite characters, and other aspects to add interest for the students. If ...
#StuVoice Student Voice Resources
"I am pro student voice because......." What do you complete this statement with? Visit the website www.stuvoice.org to learn more about the importance of student voice and how to incorporate it into your classroom. Something I found very intriguing is that students feel they have less of a voice and input as they get further in school. This seems backwards to me, shouldn't we be guiding these older students to be independent thinkers? We need to let them know that their voice matters and ...
Putting Students in Charge of Building the Classroom Community
As teachers, we usually go into the first weeks of school assuming full responsibility for building the learning space. But what happens if we put some of that responsibility in our students’ hands instead? Our new students come to us full of ideas, stories, expertise, and curiosity. These are the essential materials for a strong classroom community. Here are a few ideas for how to put those raw materials to use: Students work together to create classroom rules by brainstorming why they are ...
What can your former students teach you?
This summer I am faced with having lost seven years of files on my computer and back up external hard drive. Very bizarre and unlikely, yet it happened. As school starts next week I am rewriting course guides and syllabi. This has served as a great opportunity to rewrite some projects to include more student voice. During the school year at the end of each unit I have students evaluate and make suggestions for the project, process, and team work aspect. I then use this information to revise the...
Another word from a student.....
This blog comes from a 17 year old high school senior. This is her view on Student Voice, I hope you learn as much as I did: One of the most important things I value in my education is having a student voice. I find school to be so much more enjoyable when I have a close relationship with my teachers. While I understand that teachers are authoritative figures that are here to teach students and guide us through information, I appreciate when teachers consider our own ideas, opinions, and input. ...
Student-Led "eSmart" Committee: Our Students Guiding Our Students to be Safe, Responsible and Respectful Online Users.
In many schools, it is the teachers who decide what the school's Cybersafety/eSmart Curriculum and activities look like. When you add the element of keeping parents involved in the conversation and assisting the school with what parents suggest, then you have a pretty good Cybersafety Curriculum set up............But, it can get better. The next step that needs to be taken (and the step that Taroona High is taking this year) is to put faith in the students and let them 'have a say' in what the ...
How do students feel about summer break?
Finishing another school year is always bitter sweet. Of course we all look forward to summer break, which normally ten weeks for our school, but is it really what is best for our students? You would think they would have no problem with the break; however, when asked how they feel their answers were surprising. I decided to give my students a voice in the matter. My high school students were told they were able to design the school year, meeting the required hours in the classroom, and ...
It is Time to Let the Students Tell the Teachers Which ICT Skills Have Been Learnt!
Too often in schools, ICT skill assessment looks like this: teacher uses a particular ICT skill in the course, student then demonstrates competency in the ICT skill to the teacher, teacher then reports (to student, parent, school, Dept.) that the student can do/understands how to do the ICT skill. What is missing here in this classic scenario? 'Student voice' is the crucial missing element. In today's world, our students need to be telling us, as educators, what ICT skills are being learnt and ...
For your voice to be valued you need to have something to say
If someone stopped me in the street and asked what I thought about a particular topic would this count as the voice of the citizens of the UK or is it just my opinion. Similarly if we ask a group of students their opinion is it student voice? Student voice may actually be a misleading term therefore. Maybe what we should redefine it so that it is clear that it really means 'student empowerment' or 'student involvement in the democratic process' or 'student leadership' or even 'student agency'...
Student voice, through the voice of a Student
Wow! I cannot believe it is almost the end of April. In Louisiana April is filled with testing and Spring (Easter) Break. In trying to decide what to write about Student Voice I turned to my seniors. These students have approximately nine days remaining of their high school career; not that they are counting or anything ;). I would like to share with you what Riley had to say about Student Voice. Riley is what we call a 13 year senior, she has attended our school since Kindergarten. I am ...
Students Voices were Everywhere in Barcelona!
The Microsoft Education Global Forum was a showcase of over 200 educators from around the world; most of which were sharing work in which their students had a voice. First, thank you to Microsoft Education/Partners in Learning for such a top notch professional development event and celebration of innovative teachers. I encourage anyone who uses technology in their classroom to apply for the Expert Educators program and to attend the global forum in 2015. No matter how experienced or ...
Actions Speak Louder than Words
This week I have been putting the finishing touches on my presentation for the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain. I am going as a U.S. Expert Educator and presenting my project "Breaking Barriers". In reflecting on the project I have realized that my students never directly asked for this topic to be explored; however it was me reading their actions that brought this project into place. If you are interested in reading the details visit my profile and Breaking ...
A bit about me (the new moderator) and my classroom...
First, let me introduce myself: I am Jennifer Bevill, I have been teaching for 13 years. My undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education and I have a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology. I have experience in the elementary, middle, and high school classroom; I am currently teaching a variety of informational technology courses to grades 10-12 in a K-12 school. I am a 2014 Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator and have been part of the Partners in Learning network since 2012. I have never...
Writers' Voices will be Heard
"Why do we have to write these stories about ourselves, Mr. Joseph? I mean, what's the point?" With characteristic 5th grade skepticism, I found myself facing a key question from my student, Tate, that speaks to the heart of the question of student voice - that of audience. What Tate really wanted to know was, Would anybody care about this? Would anybody see this? Would it have any meaning beyond simply a skill that I'm supposed to know? As teachers, we all have students who are compliant and ...
LA VOZ DE LOS ESTUDIANTES:OFRECERLES SER PROTAGONISTAS DE SU PROPIO APRENDIZAJE
¿Cuántas veces hemos escuchado esta frase que centra la atención en el propio estudiante? Yo la he tomado prestada de un compañero, con quien comparto la visión del cambio de roles en el aula, cambios que hemos sufrido mientras nos preguntábamos: Y todo esto ¿cuándo ha pasado que yo no me he enterado? Deseamos como docentes que nuestros alumnos desarrollen determinadas habilidades que les preparen para la vida adulta, en un contexto socio-económico que desconocemos hoy en día, ni siquiera las ...
Students are my teachers!
It is very important for students to be really interested in subject they study, that's why we, as teachers, should think over their motivation permanently. If they are not motivated they will never realize the subject of learning, so this point is # 1 in teaching approach I think. To get students interested we try to find different approaches and methods, but sometimes students give us the tools by themselves. So I got to know that my students had discussed their home task in Social Network (...
What Student Voice is Teaching us about Student's Needs.
On Dec 2 2013, close to 40 middle and high school students from Great Falls gathered in the McLaughlin Center on the University of Great Falls campus to begin giving the adults in their lives ideas on how to best motivate their peers to stay in school and graduate. Students were asked what graduation means to them and what helps them graduate? Here are a few things Edgar Martinez, a senior at C.M. Russell High School, said additional homework doesn’t help him learn his subjects better. He ...
A Class without Student Voice is not a Class at All
I find that student voice is critical in my classroom. It is impossible to teach students if there is no sharing, discussion of topics, exploration and discourse that helps everyone learn. Undoubtedly it is a key component in 21st century learning - student voice, the ability to voice their opinions. As teachers we also need to listen to our students, their needs, desires, opinions - we learn so much from them. Moreover, it helps students develop self- confidence, independence, and apply what...
Should Student Voice be part and parcel of School Culture?
David Hargreaves emphasized Student Voice is about students getting involved in all areas of school life. Students being or becoming more involved in the day to day life of the school, importantly; being included in key decisions affecting their future. To develop their voice, students need to develop the skills, understanding and confidence which may enable them to lead different student voice activities. It involves actively working with staff in a mature way so that students have a greater say...
Student Voice in Learning Environments: New Line Learning Academy
In recent years there has been a shift change towards exploring the impact of learning environments and its effectiveness on teaching and learning, and on student’s attitudes and responses towards school (Fisher, 2000). Schools worldwide are focusing on how the foundations of a school can help set appropriate conditions for learning. Student voice has played an integral role in establishing new initiatives for involving students in improving school buildings and facilities and consequently, ...
How have you kicked off the school year with student voice?
Hi everyone! For those of you in the northern hemisphere who've just started a new school year, I hope you enjoyed your summer break! I wanted to share our schedule of posts for the coming months, and also invite all of you reading to share any updates on student voice initiatives or activities in your school through the comments on this post. Here's what we'll be covering: September: Learning Environment October: School Culture November: School Policy December : Student Leadership January...
Student Voices – Letting Students Become Creators and not Just Consumers With the Microsoft Surface in the Classroom
I am frequently asking for feedback from my students on ways to increase engagement. Invariably, my students say they want to create content. I couldn’t agree with them more. The highest form of content mastery is when a student can create something to show mastery. This creation can help future students understand the concept a little better. My students want to become content creators and not just content consumers. There are many video editing apps that help us accomplish our goal by ...
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Student Voice
I have recently been involved in a course sponsored by the Toronto District School Board in conjunction with TakingITGlobal called Empowering Student Voice in Education. When I first heard of this course I immediately knew that I wanted to be involved in it. I am a middle school teacher working with students who are on the Autism Spectrum, and I wanted to learn about student voice and how to hear it! As we discussed the topic I always took it back to my particular setting. How did each of the ...
What does student voice mean to you?
As an educator, it is important to reflect on what student voice means to you when taking that first step to empower student voice in education. At TakingITGlobal, we recently asked educators that exact question. One educator readily noted that “student voice means students have a say in things that matter to them - education is something they participate in - not something that happens to them”. In response, another educator suggested that “we need to step backwards a little... a voice worth ...
Integrating technology everywhere leads to every student learning
At Darcy Ribeiro Public School, Brazil, a Microsoft Pathfinder School, integrating technology and promoting group actions that enable all students to acquire a high-quality education, is critical in student learning. For students Give students instruments to help them develop personal and collective projects by focusing on learning specific skills. Involve students in their own learning and citizenship-building processes. Help students develop self-assessment and autonomy in decision-making,...
Student Voice and Peaceful Ghanaian Elections - The Organisation of the Project
Student Voice and Peaceful Ghanaian Elections by Samuel Afoakwah, teacher at Twene Amanfo Senior High/Technical School, Ghana. A few weeks ago, I’ve laid out the purpose and overview of my project. For todays’ post, we will dive into the execution and work flow of the project. If you haven’t read my previous post, you can find it here: To begin, Students administered questionnaires, conducted interviews, analyzed and evaluated results on their authenticity and validity. This required students ...
Putting money behind Student Voice - Ontario's SpeakUp Grants!
I've had many people ask for concrete examples of policies at the government level that can encourage and support student voice, and I wanted to share one that I'm particularly proud is happening right in my backyard in my home province of Ontario, Canada. Over the past few years, the Ontario Ministry of Education has funded over 5,000 SpeakUp projects across the province, providing funding to students who submitted ideas and proposals for ways to make their schools better places to learn. In ...
Student Voice in Evaluation
There’s a saying: When you have a hammer, everything suddenly becomes a nail. It is not surprising that student surveys, as a tool analogous to the hammer, are suddenly viewed through the lens of usefulness when applied to teacher evaluations. Student surveys provide valuable feedback for teachers that contribute to professional development and can result in improved classroom practices. But when it comes to teacher evaluations, implementation is – as always - fraught with unforeseen ...
Student Voice and Peaceful Ghanaian Elections by Samuel Afoakwah, teacher at Twene Amanfo Senior High/Technical School, Ghana.
Young people have unique perspectives on events and things that are going on around them and often would like to be able to express their thoughts and convictions. They would love at the end of the day, to express themselves and solicit the responses of adults, particularly when it comes to important topics such as the general elections. In doing so, they learn so much more beyond the classroom that we can imagine. We at Twene Amanfo Senior High believe that students should be afforded the ...
What are the strongest indicators of Student Voice in schools?
Here at TakingITGlobal we're working on a new certification program called Future Friendly Schools. We're currently running a global to define indicators across the values of global citizenship, student voice, and environmental stewardship, and we want to make sure that the design of the program is based on the priorities and ideas of as many education stakeholders as possible. We've love on the indicators that have been suggested by our global network of educators and students so far. What ...
Setting the Stage With the Youngest Learners
As classrooms around the world become more student centered, students must learn to think and communicate clearly for their voice to be meaningful and productive. I teach first and second graders to examine points of view and problem solving through . Using actual plastic hats, the young students learn to discuss issues and express their opinions as they try on different hats and change their thinking accordingly. As they learn flexibility in thinking, they also learn creativity in problem ...
Boynton Alternative High School and Student Voice
Authentic youth voice, what is it, why are the students engaged, how does one teach youth voice, what is the impact, and how do we measure their success? These are the questions I am most asked. There are no easy answers because the answers themselves depend on so many factors such as input from the community, by in from the teacher and students, and resources available. What is easy to state however is that students want a voice and demand that people listen. They have a difficult time ...
"From Learner Voice to Emerging Leaders"
At the this morning in London, England, TakingITGlobal collaborated with Cisco and Promethean in bringing together over a dozen students from around the world to share insights on student voice with a audience of global policy makers. I'll be sharing the video from the event shortly! My colleague Sara also announced the release of a new whitepaper, authored by three of us at TakingITGlobal alongside our colleague Gavin Dykes, a respected educational consultant. provides what we think is a ...
Student Voice: Welcome to our journey towards greater student engagement!
Around the world, the concept of ‘student voice’ is gaining ground as a hot topic in education circles. But what does student voice actually mean? David Hargreaves defines student voice as a process by which learners come to play a more active role in their education. Adding to this, Pat Thomson suggests that voice is the right for students to express opinions, access people who influence decisions, and exercise active participation in educational decision-making processes. Considering both of ...