A few posts ago I wrote about a stimulating meeting that I had with members of student government at my school (Winds of Change: Student Style 3/10/10). During the meeting I challenged them to be active in the change process and provide ideas on how to make NMHS a better place academically and socially. On their own, the students came up with fantastic ideas in both areas. In particular they emphasized the importance of accessibility to technology and the use of social media to improve communication in regards to school events, news, achievements etc.
I am proud to write that I took their suggestions seriously and can report the following:
- Shortly after the meeting 10 iPod touches have been ordered and should arrive in the next few weeks. These will be added to the mobile iPod learning lab that currently houses 28 nanos.
- An official Facebook page has been created for NMHS to compliment the Twitter site that was already in existence. The students emphasized that they would be more attentive to status updates on Facebook as opposed to Twitter because that is the social media tool they frequently utilize.
- The first student was granted access to the school’s wireless network last week with the hopes that more will be added on later this month. It should be noted that students asked to bring in their own laptops in order to use their time more efficiently and have instant access to technology for learning.
For any type of sustainable change to occur in schools all stakeholders must be a part of the process, especially students. As educators we must make the effort to not only listen to student ideas, but implement them as well. After all, they are the ones that we are trying to properly prepare to be successful in society, think critically, problem solve, and evolve into life-long learners. As digital natives they are even more knowledgeable on the effective utilization of technology than we are. Leaving them out of the equation as we move to create a 21st Century learning environment is foolish in my opinion. Students are needed more than ever to help assist us in changing the ways in which content is delivered.