What are students creating?

My biggest takeaway from a day shadowing a student.

Photo of Tom Mullaney
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I noticed great 21st-century learning when I shadowed a student through her day as an 8th-grade student. The experience left me wanting to see more student creation and publishing. 

It was heartening to see teachers leaving the stage as evidenced by just a few minutes of the teacher addressing the whole class in each period. Students worked on engaging material at their own pace using Chromebooks.

In one class, a teacher led a whole-class discussion about the death of Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of police. The discussion was good but I was left with the question, "so what are we doing about it?" I connected that with what students are doing in class - are they creating, making, publishing, and interacting with people beyond our school's walls? If students are creating on a regular basis, a discussion like that can be followed by student action.

[Optional] Synthesize a little! What's one take away or insight to leave people with?

We stress student learning. We hold teachers accountable with standardized testing. But where is the focus on student creation? If students are not making things regularly, how can they possibly have a voice?

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