ISTE 2019Creative
Constructor Lab
Leadership Summit
No Fear
Coding Lab
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Building a Movement: Individualized Learning to Empower Social Change

Location: Posters; Level 3, Skyline Ballroom Pre-function, Table 24

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Wednesday, June 27, 8:00–10:00 am
Location: Posters; Level 3, Skyline Ballroom Pre-function, Table 24

Susan Cintra  
Empowering students to have a voice in their own lives starts in the classroom. In this presentation, participants will see how students identified problems within their community and used the power of a 1:1 classroom to breakdown the walls of the school and initiate change through social activism.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project-, problem- and challenge-based learning
Grade level: 9-12
Subject area: Language arts
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
Global Collaborator
  • Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to provide participants with a platform that guides them through empowering their students' voices by engaging in student generated social activism projects.
Communicating with students about social justice issues can be touchy, but placing the ball in their court and allowing them to analyze their community, the problems that face it, and which of those problems matter the most to them can be a catalyst for much needed discussion and in depth layers of learning. By providing the students with the freedom to explore issues that matter to them, the spark for learning is reignited. With instruction that incorporates solid strategies such as design thinking, challenge based learning, collaborative tech integration, and student-centered methodologies, participants will leave with the confidence and knowledge to adapt this powerful experience into their content area and their community by letting their children lead the way to social change.


Over the course of the poster session, participants will be taken through a short series of exercises, with examples, on how to design and implement an engaging learning opportunity within a social justice theme.
Setting the Stage: Preliminary discussions will be centered around building a geo literacy as well as identification of challenges unique to your locality. Example we will highlight is a drug epidemic impacting our community.
Opportunity for change: Because this drug epidemic impacts two thirds of my students, we have an invested interest in problem-solving to stop it, but this serves as a catalyst to discuss other issues within our community.
Design Thinking: discuss how design thinking strategies were used within this project to focus students on the problems throughout the community that they are interested in and the various ideas they can generate to fix them.
Research: consider the various forms of research students completed, including online sources, interviews with various members of our community (face to face as well as via video conferencing) as well as selected experts from across the country.
Challenge -Solving: through research of their problem, multiple perspectives from experts of the problem, the curation of ideas, generation of solutions, the students begin to develop a plan to address their chosen issues.
Tech for the Plan: explanation and demonstration of the various forms of technology that allowed the students to collaborate and generate an action plan. Key elements to the plan containing phases of implementation, which include student created propaganda, advertising and marketing of their plan, collaborative connections for public distribution, and timeline for action.
Results: examine the impact of the student involvement in the community, the student reflections, self-assessments of their work, peer feedback, and key strategies for developing this into a project for additional social causes the students can take on, even in different content areas.

Supporting research

"For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood and the Rest of Y'all Too" by Chris Edmin
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
Children as agents of social and community change: Enhancing youth empowerment through participation in a school-based social activism project:

More [+]


Susan Cintra, Madison Central High School

People also viewed

Building a STEM Lab in a K-12 School
Snap2B: Addressing the 2017 ISTE Educator Standards in Teacher Education
The Art of Screencasting: Flipped "Teacher-On-Demand" is Now Possible!