Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Opinion That Matters Most

This morning I attended a meeting with students that represent New Milford High School and my superintendent.  The purpose of the "Superintendent's Council" is to allow students to have a voice and empower them to make meaningful changes to the culture of the District.  During the meeting the students were asked what changes or initiatives they would like to see.  One freshman student quickly caught my attention when he began to discuss how he was upset that certain students were unmotivated in school.  A conversation then ensured as to how we could change this.  I quickly jumped in and replied that many students come to schools across the country and are bored because the digital world that they are so accustomed to is taken away from the one place where they should most be engaged.
What transpired next gave me goosebumps.  Unscripted and in front of my boss student after student enthusiastically shared what their respective teachers were doing to make learning engaging, meaningful, and fun.  They spoke of the History teacher who was having them blog to reflect critically on world history content where they could interact with each other and share their thoughts.  Then there was the science teacher who has his biology classes using Google Docs and Sites regularly to collaborate, provide feedback and discuss the material.  The grand finale was the one English teacher using cell phones, Edmodo, and wikis to invigorate her lessons.

Student voices are the most powerful tool that educators can use to change the learning cultures of schools. These students readily shared the type of learning environment that they prefer, one that effectively integrates the digital tools of their generation.  I can talk about the merits of educational technology all I want, but it is the opinions of my students that have the potential to empower other teachers to jump on board.  Today was a great day!


  1. I was getting goosebumps reading this post. Tremendous testament to the education taking place in your school. Congratulations to all invovled in making learning so meanigful to these students.

  2. I'm too excited to hear about the emerging technology across our school systems. Great work for those teachers embracing how our students are learning! :)

  3. Kids may not necessarily know what makes "good teaching" and "bad teaching" but they sure do know what motivates and engages them and what bores and disengages them.