Monday, February 1, 2016

The Importance of Learner Voice

Inspirational educators came together in #plearnchat on Monday, February 1st, 2016 as we had a riveting chat about Learner Voice. Our discussion enveloped around our Big Question:
"How can teachers offer structure and support to learners while encouraging them to own the learning?"

We invited Megan Harrington, @globaljigsaw, a Communication Associate at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation as our guest host on our topic of Learner Voice.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, @nelliemaeEdFdn, is a regional foundation focused on advancing student-centered learning throughout New England. Learner voice and choice is 1 of the 4 tenants in their student-centered framework.

"We need a new student-centered vision of education; one that empowers students  to take charge of their learning and gives them the flexibility to work when they want, 
where they want, and how they want."

Megan shared with us many resources including; how learners can be co-investigators in their learning, and how learners have a loud voice at the table in two schools in Rhode Island.

We tapped into the pulse of educators' mindsets about learner voice and our chat began trending as resources and ideas from as far away as Australia were rapidly shared.  Here are some intriguing exchanges among our #plearnchat PLN on this topic:

Tsisana Palmer @TechTeacherCent
"By changing/moving from "Today you will learn...." to "What do you want to learn today and why?" Bringing #awareness." 
Jeremy Bond @JeremyDBond  "We spend too much energy debating the value of the end product. The learning is in the journey." 
Shelly Vohra @raspberryberet3
"Show learners curriculum and ask"how do you want to learn this?" & "how do you want to show your learning?" 
Casey @Casey_Metcalfe
"Student voice is the key to encouraging creativity to flourish instead of obedience."

We designed the questions for our chat around the Big Question and used the Q1, A1 format.


A few resources from the chat:
In Charge: Student-Led Conferences at Pittsfield Middle School 
Flipping Assessment: Making Assessment a Learning Experience 
College Unbound is tackling learner voice for adult learners

Congratulations to Karen Kuntz Ed.D., @KarenKuntz

Karen is Director of Data & Instructional Technology at South Western School District in Hanover, Pennsylvania, who won our book, Make Learning Personal.

Karen is a learner, dreamer and leader, not always in that order. She is inspired by many that have illuminated the journey to where she is today. She strives to make a difference and share the possibilities that others see in her.
"Curriculum provides the destination, student voice determines how we'll get there & what we'll see along the way." 

Join us for our next #plearnchat Topic is "The Power of Questions"
with Starr Sackstein, @mssackstein

Save the DATE in 3 weeks on Monday, February 22nd
7pm ET, 6pm CT, 5pm MT, 4pm PT

We would love to continue the Learner Voice conversation with you in our comments. We archive the entire chat below using #storify for you.