Researchers a NC State University's William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation conducted the "Having Our Say" Project. The project explored a middle school students' perspective on classroom teaching methods. The results will be presented during the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Chicago on April 13th.

The study was simple in nature. They wanted to know what skills and tools students feel they need in order to be successful and academically engaged in school.

Before I go any further, you can watch this video and let the kids tell you.

I just picked out some quotes that caught my attention, but you can read the full press release here. My commentary is on my blog site

"The majority of students noted that they use a variety of technologies outside of school, and they would like to be able to use these tools in school."

"Using computers was the one activity that all ethnicities stated they liked best in school. Despite the fact that a high percentage of the students were receiving free-or-reduced lunches at school, they had access to the Internet and cell phones outside of school."
"These students expressed a concern that sometimes it appeared that teachers did not understand that technology is a big part of students’ lives outside of school."

“Students clearly want to bring technology experiences that they have as part of a social network outside of school into school and apply it to the learning process as a way to increase academic engagement...”

“Demonstrating a sophisticated sense of what is needed to be successful in society, they voiced concerns about their schools not being up-to-date in terms of facilities, technologies and curricula.”

Views: 52

Comment by nlowell on March 31, 2007 at 3:43pm
You realize that this scares the bejeebers out of administrations?
Comment by Aaron Slutsky on March 31, 2007 at 4:19pm
Yes. My fear is that we will have to wait for these kids to become the administrators before we see any change.
Comment by Tom Kennedy on April 2, 2007 at 8:16am
Studies such as this one make a strong case for initiatives like The Science Leadership Academy, in Philadelphia. Although it is a high school and not a middle school the lessons about ways to use technology are germane, and it has a strong project-based curriculum.

In defense of administrators, a significant reason they fear changes on this scale is because state departments of education (not to mention the Fed and NCLB), are assessing basic (read 3R's) skills. Part of the "accountability" movement insists that the adults must answer for poor scores. Not the kind of environment conducive to innovation.
Comment by Aaron Slutsky on April 2, 2007 at 8:28am
Touche, I guess I should amend my first comment to say...

"Yes. My fear is that we will have to wait for these kids to become the administrators "and DOE officials" before we see any change."

But you are correct, there is no incentive to innovate.

I did just read about sweeping changes at the DOE.
Too bad it was an April fools joke.


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