Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Students Teaching Teachers

In the digital age, it is not unusual for students to be teaching their teachers. Some school systems have a well organized approach to students conducting workshops for teachers. Other schools have a more informal system. In one school system reported in a EdUtopia article, California Kids Use—And Teach—Digital Storytelling, we learn that students are teaching both their teachers and younger students in the school the intricacies of using Photo Story 3 to create digital stories. Read the article, and post your comments. Also, check out Generation Yes, a program promoting students teaching teachers. And if you have not yet downloaded the Microsoft free software program Photo Story 3, you should visit the download page. If you don’t yet know how to use this simple program, take the opportunity to do so, as many young students are already using it to create school projects. What is your response to students teaching teachers? What do you think of digital storytelling?
Image from the California Kids article.


Scott Kossbiel said...

I feel the teacher:student relationship should be give and take, in that they both learn from one another. It is fact that some student are more tech-apt then some teachers. We as teachers should feel honored to learn from our students as they learn from us. Especially as it comes to technology. As in the end, they, the students, will help us to become better teacher.

Bob G said...

I agree with Scott, that the student, teacher relationship should have a give and take component. I worry however, that many teachers are not self motivated to acquire 21st century technology skills and default to the students. The literature is full of teacher excuses and it is not the student’s responsibility to be the training department. I work in a district that continually offers introductory technology professional development classes. But rarely does the district provide the supports and ongoing training necessary for the teacher to be ahead of the curve. If we are to take education seriously in this century, our continuing education requirements must reflect this. At present the SDE only requires 1.5 CEUs related to computers in the classroom, this is not enough. It took me years to acquire the skills I presently have not 15 hours of seat time.

Bob G said...

Just finished exploring Generation Yes, my school is working on pacing guides for each curriculum content area. How do you get a team of four content area teachers, a dept. chair, our administrator, and the curriculum council to see the benefit in this? Without a doubt this is problem based learning, which is clearly the way to go.

Liz R. said...

I feel that one of the biggest challenges for teachers today when it comes to integrating technology into the curriculum is the fear factor of what if something goes wrong or what if I do not have the answer to a technologically savy student's question. I learned quickly that the only way for me to start implementing technology in my classroom was to dive in and let go of my fears and my desire to control the classroom experience. What I learned in the process was that my students were happy and eager to help me and each other out if I didn't have all the answers. In the end my students helped me to become a better teacher and helped each other to be more technological savy. What can be a more positive outcome than synergy in a classroom?

Liz R. said...


To answer your question about how to start the training and to get a team of teachers together, perhaps a grass roots movement during common planning time could get the ball rolling in your school. We did something like this at my school.

Christina said...

I really like the idea of students teaching teachers. I think it is a great opportunity to boost students ego's and for the teacher to learn how to acquire new skills that could make teaching in the classroom more powerful. I feel as if adults and teachers can learn alot from the children or students that are around them everyday. I used to hate the teachers that would not get to know their students and class at all and made themselves seem like they were superior to students. I think this is a good way to get rid of that barrier between the two.

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