"Students can use social media to take control our own learning. We can redefine education and learning for our generation." Isabella Fitzgerald

When Students Plan a Conference, Amazing Things Happen

The first online student technology conference was held this past January 2015 led by Eric Walters and his students. They are furiously planning the 2016 event (you can join in). In this episode of ECM, Eric and two of his students tell all about social media, learning, and their plans for next year. If you want to know all of the details, see this blog post shared back in January.

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The students clearly said what many are shouting: students want to learn anyplace, anywhere, anytime. It isn't enough to just teach face to face. Students want to connect with teachers online too! Student empowerment was a theme, but see for yourself. You can listen to the recordings from the conference. (I especially recommend Isabella Fitzgerald's@ifitzgerald15 keynote “Say it with Social Media”. )

But Eric Walters@EWaltersScience and his students aren't done! Here are their plans:

  • Expand and add more types of online student conferences.
  • Include college students in future conferences.
  • Tackle new topics instead of just technology and include current events.
  • Students want to delve into the differences and similarities between STEM and STEAM and think more art should be included.

The next conference will be January 30, 2016. Their goal is to have representation from every continent as part of the planning.

I think learning is something every student should be able to do any time of the day." Tylor Johnson[callout]I hope you'll send a tweet to Eric Walters at @EWaltersScience if you would like your students to join next year. They can plan! They can keynote! They can contribute! What an excellent opportunity.[/callout]

I'd also like to give Steve Hargadon and Lucy Gray a big shout out for supporting these students. They didn't really let anyone know how much they were helping, but I always appreciate when education technology leaders quietly help others live their dreams. Big props to teacher Eric Walters for supporting his students and all of the student organizers who set this up. I expect we'll see bigger and better things next year as more of you get your students involved. Join in!

Here are some of the student planning team members who are partnering with other students from around the world.

Here are some of the student planning team members who partnered with other students from around the world. The group is forming now to organize next year's conference. These are the students who worked with Eric Walters, but more joined in from around the world! You can join too!


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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere