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Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Children Teaching Children, Teachers and University Students

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Lecture

Sunday, June 23, 8:30–9:30 am
Location: 120A

Edward Gonzalez  
Learn to leverage child leadership in peer tutoring and adult learning environments. Listen to how children from a low socioeconomic middle school taught technology and math to elementary students, university students and teachers at conferences. You'll discover practical strategies to create dynamic student-led environments based on authentic experiences.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: In order to participate effectively in the presentation, participants must have a account.
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Innovative learning environments
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Math, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
  • Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments.
Professional Development and Program Evaluation
  • Design, develop and implement technology-rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning and assessment.
For Education Leaders:
Equity and Citizenship Advocate
  • Ensure all students have skilled teachers who actively use technology to meet student learning needs.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The challenge presented in this session is that the hierarchy in education continually places children at the bottom of all structures. Teachers, administrators, and content lead, while children follow. Educational reforms and practices persist in focusing primarily on the structures of education, the teachers, and the content. The child in almost all settings is the recipient of knowledge, and their output measures their learning; consequently, many strategies focus on helping children retain knowledge and improve test scores.

The purpose of this session is to promote the underutilized pedagogy of using students as teachers and leaders of adults, especially in technology instruction. It is important to emphasize that this purpose is not the promotion of a special group or clique of academically gifted children, but an equity push for ALL children, including those with social and academic difficulties.

In education, we are often searching for a gimmick or hero to help solve small and large problems. The reality is that the leaders we are looking for are sitting in front of us every single day waiting to be called. Upon participating in "Children Teaching Children, Teachers, and University Students" educators will learn:
Specific first-hand examples of children peer teaching. One example will include a math intervention program where 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students peer tutored younger children in Common Core math in hands-on activities (lesson plans included), and technology-rich activities including 3D modeling with TinkerCAD and creating tutorials with Flipgrid. Another example will include 9th-grade students rolling out Prezi presentations and GoAnimate to 5th-grade students 100 miles away via Facetime video on the iPhone and Macbook, including video documenting the experience.
Detailed methods and plans, based on the first-hand experience of including children in professional development at the school site and at teacher technology conferences. One example is how 12 children ran a one hour workshop with stations for 18 educators on 3D modeling with TinkerCAD, 3D scanning, and publishing to the virtual reality social site (lesson plans included). Another example demonstrates how children led-professional development for adults at their school site to implement Flipgrid into math tasks.
How to include children in leadership and teaching roles at university courses. In these examples, participants will learn the struggles it took to prepare an underperforming middle school class to teach a session in a university course. Participants will also view footage documenting the experiences.
Recognize the barriers they are likely to face when attempting to include children in professional development, and possible strategies for successfully implementing children-led learning environments.

Evidence of success for the presentation include:
An outline proposal created by participants, including research evidence shared through the presentation.
A personalized needs assessment for creating a student-led staff development session.
Review and feedback as given by a questionnaire.


(10 minutes) Introducing Edward’s background as a teacher and middle school teacher, as related his work with children teaching adults. The presentation will be run from a personal Twitter account to the hashtag “KidsTeachingISTE,” participants will be asked to join in the hashtag and introduce themselves. Participants will receive a template for creating a proposal for using children as leaders and a needs assessment to create a student-led staff development session.

(5 minutes) Edward will share research on kids teaching by posting the information to the social media site Twitter while demonstrating how the research has influenced the strategies that will be shared.

(10 minutes) Edward will share specific examples of children teaching children, and participants will be invited to tweet specific needs they must address at their site and crowdsource solutions from the presenter and other participants. This section will include examples of children peer tutoring with technology tools in person and via synchronous technology over 100 miles away.
(5 minutes) Edward will address some of the specific tweets to share best practices for overcoming common barriers.

(10 minutes) Edward will share specific examples of children running professional development for adults and presenting at conferences (videos and images included). This section will include failures and successes within the process of incorporating children in work with adults. Participants will be invited to tweet specific needs they must address at their site and crowdsource solutions from the presenter and other participants.
(5 minutes) Edward will address some of the specific tweets to share best practices for overcoming common barriers.

(10 minutes) The lecture will focus on the equity issues involved with including children from low socioeconomic communities in a university course and honest challenges with preparing the children. This component will consist of how to gain administrative support and logistical issues for holding the event. Authentic footage of children teaching university students will be included. Participants will be invited to tweet specific needs they must address at their site and crowdsource solutions from the presenter and other participants.
(5 minutes) Edward will conclude with questions from the participants and continue to address questions through Twitter after the presentation timeslot has expired.

Supporting research

Beattie, H. (2012). Amplifying student voice: The missing link in school transformation. Management in Education, 26(3), 158-160.

Biddle, C., & Mitra, D. (2015). Implementing middle school youth-adult partnerships: A study of two programs focused on social change. Middle Grades Review, 1(2), 1-19.

Chapman J., Cahill S., & Holdsworth R. (2009) Student action teams, values education and quality teaching and learning—case study from the Manningham Cluster, Victoria. Melbourne, Australia: Springer, Dordrecht.

Fullan, M., Langworthy, M. (2014). A rich seam: How new pedagogies find deep learning. Stanford, California: Pearson.

Holdsworth, R. (2014). Spaces for partnerships. Teach the Teacher: Student-led professional development for teachers. Forum, 56(1), 67-78.

Rincon-Gallardo, S., & Elmore, R. F. (2014) Transforming teaching and learning through social movement in Mexican public middle schools. Harvard Educational Review, 82(4), 471-490.

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Edward Gonzalez, Bakersfield City School Distrct

Edward Gonzalez is a middle school teacher, university lecturer, doctoral candidate, and keynote speaker. As the proud recipient of the Computer Using Educators 2018 LeRoy Finkle Fellow and the California State University, Fullerton 2016 Edwin Carr Fellow, Edward strives to give his low socioeconomic students the opportunity to lead in the classroom and at the university. In his circles, Edward is known for facilitating professional development led by children. You can find Edward regularly presenting at the National CUE Conference and the International Society for Technology in Education.

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