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Written by Marco Torres, Director of Story at Digital Promise

I have been involved in many one to one programs over the last 15 years, and the pattern that stands out the most is schools that integrate students into their technology plan and learning process from the start experience fewer challenges. 

In other words, the time they spend reacting to annoying issues is seriously reduced. Beth, the storyteller at Rancho Minerva recently shared a story about student-led conferences. It was a great reminder to all of us of a very valuable resource we have available to us and all around us – students!

From a storyteller perspective, this was my response to her and the local storytellers.

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Team,

We should all consider the role of our students in this process. Thinking like a producer, consider this framework for storytelling:

Big Idea:
 Student involvement

Essential Question: How can we leverage students to help us be more successful with the ipads/ tablets?

Challenge: LEVERAGE students to help us be more successful with the ipads/ tablets.

Solution(s):

  • Help with getting ready.
  • Help with the rollout process.
  • Help with basic technical support.
  • Help with creating smart support strategies: prevention, reaction.
  • Help with creating responsibility use tutorials.
  • Help with supporting events like a conference and/or professional development for teachers.
  • Help with collecting stories and managing them along the way.
  • Help with problem-solving circumstances or situations.
  • (You can add more ideas here).

This is a key part of the Digital Promise challenge. Closing the gap between the ownership of the learning is fundamental, and having a framework to help create and collect what this evidence looks like is a huge win for all.

If you can spend more time involving students in their own learning process, you’ll be spending more time on the offense. Thus, you’re spending less time on the defense.

Consider a weekly evaluation/reflection on how students were involved in prepping, planning, producing, and participating in your school’s (or your) learning challenges. Think like a producer – What did that look like? How could it have been more efficient/effective? What adjustments can I make? What do I want to see in the evidence for next week? Who do I talk to? What do I collect? What are the victories, what are the lessons learned? What are the lingering needs and concerns I should listen for?

After you accept the challenge, consider what you know and what you need to know. We are very lucky that we have a small and effective group of people who can help connect dots.


About Emily Morris

Emily Morris is a Project Associate with the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative.

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