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Be BOLD: Take Student Voice to the Next Level

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYODex

Wednesday, June 26, 8:30–10:00 am
Location: Franklin 1-2, Marriott

Kristen Brooks   Heather Marrs   Traci Piltz  
Want to be bold and amplify student voice in your classroom? Let's take student voice to the next level! Learn how to use Flipgrid, Seesaw, green screen and other digital tools to amplify your students’ voices. By doing so, we can empower students and increase learning.

Audience: Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Flipgrid, Seesaw, Book Creator, DoInk Green Screen, PicCollage Edu, Apple Clips, Apple Books
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Communication and collaboration
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: Language arts, Math
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
Empowered Learner
  • Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Bold educators encourage bold thinking from their students and want student voices to be heard! Teachers who encourage students to have choice and share their voice provide these students with the opportunity to take responsibility for their own growth & progress. By setting goals, sharing their learning to an audience, and reflecting on their learning, students are engaged, involved and have agency for their learning.

In this session, presenters will share tools and ideas from their own classrooms to spark an understanding of why student voice matters and how to easily and successfully use these tools. Teachers should expect to participate, play and explore as we share how to use tools such as Flipgrid, Seesaw, green screens, Book Creator, and other digital storytelling tools to elicit student voice through creativity, choice and creation in your classrooms! This session will contain tons of ideas that will be easy to adapt for your own students. Presenters are experienced teachers from kindergarten-5th grade classrooms who now work as tech integration, innovation and digital learning specialists in their school districts. They have many years of combined experience in purposefully leveraging technology to amplify student voice and choice. Let’s be BOLD and amplify student voice together!

Purpose and Objectives:
Engaged learners are active participants in their classrooms, and as such, need the opportunity to explore choices and amplify their voices. A teacher who promotes this in her classroom provides students agency for setting goals, telling their stories, and sharing their learning. The purpose of this session is to share our experiences in amplifying student voice by providing teachers with the opportunity to explore a variety of ideas and tools that promote choice & voice in the classroom. We will explore Seesaw, Flipgrid, Book Creator, green screen & other digital storytelling tools, with a focus on how these tools can be leveraged to provide students with choice and share their voices.
Participants will:
-Explore digital tools to amplify student voice in their classrooms,
-Select the appropriate tool to use in different learning situations,
-Identify strategies for amplifying student voice in their classrooms regardless of their device environment (i.e. iPads, Chromebooks, 1:1, shared devices, etc),
-Learn how to engage students by giving them voice & choice in their classrooms,
-Determine how to encourage students to become agents for their own learning by sharing their voices.


What is Student Voice really? Discussion of student voice and why it is important. Participants will be involved in this discussion through a digital tool and peer to peer conversations.
Introduction of digital tools that can be used to amplify student voice in the classroom. Participants will be introduced to these tools, then have time to explore, play and create using the tools.
Time for creation and exploration using these digital tools with a workshop style format. Each participant will have the opportunity to engage with the tools presented during this session.
Participants will be engaged in a discussion on student voice through peer to peer conversations, while sharing out whole group using a digital tool such as Mentimeter, Flipgrid or Padlet.
After an introduction of each tool by the presenters, participants will have time to explore, play and create using the tools. They may choose to explore all tools, or focus on one or two that seem most appealing to them for classroom use.
To conclude the session, participants will be engaged in a fun, interactive format where they are able to share some of the items they created with other participants. This will model the value and impact of sharing classroom voice and creations.

Supporting research

There is a plethora of research, articles, blog posts, and ideas available for teachers interested in promoting student choice and voice in their classrooms. The research speaks to the importance of creating learners who advocate for themselves, share their thinking and learning, reflect on their progress and set goals. The research we have read advocates promoting student agency by providing students opportunities for choice and voice. Listed below are some of the most effective pieces we discovered:

This article, published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, talks about why it’s important for students to have choice and voice, and mentions ways teachers can promote this in their classrooms. https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/16/08/giving-students-voice

This article from Kids Matter speaks to the positive impact on social emotional learning that is attained when students have voice and are involved in classroom decision making. https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/sites/default/files/public/Student%20voice.pdf

The Marzano Research Group emphasizes the importance of creating a learning environment that promotes student agency by encouraging student choice and voice. https://www.marzanoresearch.com/rs-creating-learning-environment-promote-student-agency

Edutopia lists a variety of posts, sharing ways student voice can be amplified across a variety of subjects, grade levels and tasks, including assessment, inquiry, storytelling, comprehension and reading. https://www.edutopia.org/topic/student-voice

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Kristen Brooks, Cherokee County School District

Kristen Brooks is a K-12 Instructional Technology Specialist, Apple Distinguished Educator, Microsoft Innovative Educator, PBS Digital Innovator and an Adobe Campus Leader. She has taught for 24 years with the last 15 years specifically in Educational Technology and created the first K5 Technology lab and K5 iPad Lab in her district. Her educational mantra for students is always to create more than you consume.

Heather Marrs, Eagle Rock Elementary
Traci Piltz, Billings Public Schools TILT

After 11 years of teaching kindergarten in Arizona and Montana, Traci Piltz is now happy to share her experiences with teachers in her district as a technology integration specialist. She loves helping teachers and students innovate in their classrooms by using technology to learn, create and share with one another! Traci is an Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2017, a Google Certified Educator, a PBS Kids Early Learning Champion and an Ambassador to Seesaw, Book Creator, Flipgrid and PicCollage. Outside of teaching, she is a wife and mom, and she loves watching baseball and New Kids on the Block concerts.

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