Student Well-Being

What the Students Have to Say

By Kevin Bushweller — October 12, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print
BRIC ARCHIVE

We recently held one-day conferences in Chicago and Jersey City, N.J., that brought together some of the top ed-tech leaders and thinkers in the country. The events, titled “Smart Ed-Tech Strategies for Tough Times,” covered important and interesting topics, such as the growing popularity of online coursetaking, how to use IT to improve student achievement, and making the most of limited technology budgets.

Each gathering attracted about 140 participants and included such prominent voices as Susan Patrick of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, Elliot Soloway of the University of Michigan, Chris Dede of Harvard University, and Boston schools CIO Kim Rice.

The featured speakers were informative, insightful, and entertaining, but what I enjoyed most was moderating the student panels we held in both locations, and really listening to what the students had to say.

The students were from area high schools—York Community High School in Elmhurst, Ill., and Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, N.J. One boy on the Chicago panel made a particularly well-articulated and impassioned plea for schools to ease restrictions on Internet filters because they were preventing him from doing thoughtful research. Filtering is something we have covered quite a bit, in print and online. (“A Wilder View,” this issue.)

Other students, in both locations, had very strong feelings when asked if schools should try to use social-networking sites such as Facebook for school communications or assignments. Their message: No way! Schools are not welcome. Students feel those sites are for personal use and should not be co-opted by schools. Still, one educator in the Jersey City audience suggested the Ning social-networking site as a credible alternative for schools to use.

The chief information officers, assistant superintendents, and other ed-tech thinkers and leaders in both cities appeared especially engaged during the two student panels, asking the teenagers lots of questions about how they use technology, and how schools might use it more effectively.

And that raises an important question: When was the last time you asked your students how they think technology can be used to improve schools?

A version of this article appeared in the October 21, 2009 edition of Digital Directions as What the Students Have to Say

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
Future of the First Amendment: Exploring Trends in High School Students’ Views of Free Speech
Learn how educators are navigating student free speech issues and addressing controversial topics like gender and race in the classroom.
Content provided by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion How School Can Make Students (and Teachers) Feel Dumb
Our brains don’t all work the same way, writes an English teacher who has long struggled with spelling.
Patrick O’Connor
4 min read
Image of support given to a student who is struggling.
Laura Baker/Education Week, RamCreativ, and iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being Opinion Why SEL Turned Into a Political Football
Yet again, a school reform that makes some intuitive sense has gotten sucked into a roiling culture war.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Student Well-Being FDA Ban on Juul E-Cigarettes Draws Praise From Youth Vaping Opponents
More than 100 school systems have sued Juul and other e-cigarette makers.
5 min read
Packaging for an electronic cigarette and menthol pods from Juul Labs, in Pembroke Pines, Fla., pictured on Feb. 25, 2020.
Packaging for an electronic cigarette and menthol pods from Juul Labs, in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Brynn Anderson/AP
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Are Children Getting to Bed on Time? Here's What New Data Show
A CDC study finds that more than 1 in 4 children in poverty don't have set bedtimes on school nights.
2 min read
Image of reading at bedtime.
nattrass/E+<br/>