I took four of my students from the BLHS BIT class to the GAFE Summit here in Kansas City. It was a two day conference, and I had three sessions that I presented for at the conference. I presented on new ways to engage students with online tools and creating a school and classroom of the future exercise. I really enjoyed engaging from educators all across the United States. On the second day my students and I presented on our BLHS BIT class and what experiences the students have gained from the course. They talked about their 20% projects, the MakerSpace and other projects they are working on in the class. Teachers, educators and administrators were excited to hear about the “outside the box” projects the students were doing. One of my students talked about learning how to speak in front of adults and how much more comfortable he had become. It is awesome to see these students handle questions from adults and their ability to present with confidence.
The students attended other sessions during the day and were asked to jump up in front of the group and help educators know what they wanted in the classroom, how they could change instruction to engage students in the classroom. The students rose to the occasion and were so excited to be asked their opinions and have educators value what they were saying. There were so many comments from teachers and administrators about how professional and willing to participate in sessions these four students were during the conference. I had people come up and say how much they appreciated having a student perspective at the conference. I think many times we take for granted that our students have a voice in their learning and have a lot to say about how they would like to be educated.
I can say that I am proud to say they are part of the BLHS BIT team, and look forward to attending more conferences with my students and spreading the word about engaging our students in the learning process.