Sunday, February 24, 2013

Let's commit to not just talking about "student voice" but actually listening to it!

The phrase "student voice" is getting a lot of traction lately.  Whether it is a part of our #PBLChat conversations where you often here the phrase "voice & choice" or if you have been following the #stuvoice hashtag we know we should be listening to students, but I'm not sure how often it truly happens. 

One place I know students feel at home sharing their voice is on Twitter.  I am so proud of how the voices of students have grown organically as a part of #PBLChat.  Each week we have a number of students join us , they lend an authentic voice to our conversations, several of our topics have even been student suggested.

We have a number of students who jump right in to our chats each week and they would be happy to be a member of your PLN as well.  The tricky part for you might be knowing that they are students.  They confidently share their opinions, advice and philosophy about learning in such a profound way that I bet some of our chatters have no idea they are talking to HS students.    Due to the busy lives of work, school, FFA 4H, sports and more the group changes from week to week and I find it even more impressive that they choose to take the initiative to learn alongside all of us.

These students found this outlet for their voices mostly because they were already connecting professionally via Twitter with their teachers or as a part of different projects in their school. I love how I see the students now connecting with each other, across states and time zones to discuss and share.

Here are some sample tweets from a few of our "regular" chatters. 



I love this next one!

Doesn't it illustrate how we all feel after a great connection with our PLN? 

Some of these students share topic ideas in our #PBLChat google doc, in fact, it looks like this week's topic will be one from a student.  I love how it is an exact concern we often hear from teachers!

Ask any teacher who has left the classroom for other positions what they miss the most and they will say "the students".  I love that students joining in on our chats makes me miss that less.  Sometimes, I even get to meet this student PLN in person.

I always love going to learn with students and teachers but this last visit was special. I got to meet @MrMackAttack1 and @Emcredible3 in person, tour their school and even have time for some great face to face conversation.

Let's commit to not just talking about "student voice" but actually listening to it!

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