Student Voice and Choice: The Future is Now

Just out of curiosity, how do we move to prepare for the future in education while leaving many schools behind where those who are preparing for the future are at?
Ever since I personally tried to catch up with where the movers and shakers of the edtech community are at I have oftentimes felt that I have been riding on the shirt tails of educational reform. I have tried to keep up to date with the research and trends in education by reading blog posts, attending conferences, creating a stellar PLN and engaging with colleagues via Twitter, Voxer, Flipboard, and other social media sources, but I always feel like I am behind everyone else.
Now, I’m not talking about “keeping up with the Jones’s” by having the newest technology, I am talking about knowing what is right for my students and being able to put what is right into action. Things such as getting rid of desks and putting in comfortable seating, making my classroom more inviting and collaborative, and getting my students connected with a global audience. A student first mindset is essential in moving education forward.
What about all the things students need to know so that they can move on to upper level courses? Should student voice and choice lead education or do we as teachers know that there are certain things that kids need to know, just because?
I would like to know how you plan for the future while trying to catch up with the now? How do you plan your professional development? Should students really have choice and voice or do we as teachers know them well enough to decide for them?
Flying Tardis

“Dr Who (316350537)” by aussiegall from sydney, Australia – Dr WhoUploaded by russavia. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –


2 comments on “Student Voice and Choice: The Future is Now

  1. Tim, I think it’s all a balancing act – that we must perform day to day, year to year. I have given up on finding those ideas that can be laminated and used from year to year. This year, my focus is on documenting what I am doing, and making it more of a menu for next year. What can I use, and when can I use it? As for student choice and voice, I give it when I can, and hold the reins when there is something I need to do myself. It’s all I can do. One day at a time, with students in mind.

    Keep plugging away – for this is what we chose! Be grateful you’re not like I used to be – just following the traditional model and making it EASY on myself (although I did have more to grade, for sure)! 😉

    • That’s kind of what I’m struggling with right now Joy. How can I assess my students for true learning, not just regurgitation of factual material. If they can Google it, then there is really no sense in teaching it. But, I want to make sure that student are thinking deeply about a topic and they never taught me how to measure depth of thinking and inquiry. People would be happy with the status quo, but I just have to rock the boat because there has to be something better for my kids.

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