A K12Online Reflection (so far): Student Voices

I just started to take some time this morning to view a few presentations at the K12 Online Conference (free!) and first, I watched an “education” story by a student named Colby and then a presentation about a music class where kids are composing and creating all the time.

A few weeks ago, I did watch Dean Shareski’s opening keynote (Sharing: The Moral Imperative) about the need for teachers to use the tools of technology for sharing their best practices, to help inform others. He argued that this is an obligation that we should have in the Web 2.0 environment — which supports the idea of lateral change — from teacher to teacher — as opposed to vertical change (administrator to teacher).

Today, I heard student voices, not teacher voices, and that was fine by me.

Colby’s story (The Life Practice Model)  is intriguing because he transferred to a charter school where hands-on learning was central to everything, and he uses his interest and knowledge of technology for learning. Man, it is good to hear student voices telling us their stories from their perspectives, instead of us teachers (me, included) interpreting their learning through our pedagogical lens.

The other presentation — Let Me Tell You MY Story — is all about a middle school music class and what the students are doing to integrate music into moviemaking (love the stopmotion work) and more. The music lab seems pretty incredible, and something that I will be you don’t see in a lot of schools — computers all over the place and keyboards galore. But the kids are clearly reveling in the creative environment, and come to see the importance of music in the world of multimedia. (See the teacher, Carol Broos, website)

Best quote from a student, in the music presentation:  “I don’t really follow the curriculum that much. I just hop from place to place. I put music in all of my projects.”

Peace (in the reflections),

  1. Kevin: These were the first three presos of the conference I saw too, and I loved them as well. (I actually listened to the 2 student voices presos as audio podcasts.)

    I agree it is very refreshing to hear directly from students. I hope we can encourage more student presentations in face to face conferences. There could be great value in sharing recordings or at least excerpts of these recordings at F2F conferences too, since it’s not only logistically and financially hard to get students to conferences – it’s also easier fir them to convey thoughts in an asynchronously recorded medium.

    I’m going to follow your lead and share my own reflections on the conference soon, as I process more presentations.

    Remember Colby’s live fireside chat is this Sunday evening! 🙂

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