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

From Readers to Leaders: Blending Literacy, Technology and Relationships

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Sunday, November 29, 11:00 am–12:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Allison K Kreiss  
Heather Esposito  
Kelly Healey  

Students are on a journey of self-discovery. Thinking for themselves, self-advocating and developing leadership skills can be difficult and intimidating. Join us to discuss an action research project encouraging student/teacher communication for student success in the areas of meaningful technology and best practices in the ELA classroom.

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Actively Learn
Topic: Instructional design & delivery
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Language arts, Special education
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Collaborate and co-learn with students to discover and use new digital resources and diagnose and troubleshoot technology issues.
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
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.
Disclosure: The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

When we loosen our grip and give student voice a chance to be the driving force in our work, great things begin to happen. When students see themselves as leaders in the classroom, they thrive and the relationship between students and teachers becomes truly collaborative. By using pedagogical strategies such as reciprocal teaching, students are in situations where they lead the learning, and by being involved in that capacity, master skills they would’ve otherwise struggled with. In an ongoing action research project centered on student voice and meaningful technology integration in the ELA classroom, we have learned that it is possible to build leadership and self-advocacy in every student by inviting students to be co-collaborators in the decision-making in our classes, specifically related to the use of technology platforms. We survey our students to determine which platforms they already feel confident using and regularly ask for feedback and collaboration on pairing technology with reading and writing strategies. We use assessment data to track effectiveness and will share these results with the participants.

According to the Quaglia Institute’s Student Voice School Voice Report of 2016, when students believe their teachers know their hopes and dreams, they are 18 times more motivated to learn. With this in mind, we learned that you can make learning relevant for high school students who are ready to explore their future careers, hopes, and dreams in the ELA classroom by providing students genuine opportunities to explore their potential career paths using authentic technology integration while still supporting the standards. Giving them an opportunity to explore their futures through engaging activities that support the standards with meaningful technology implementation in our content areas has made learning more engaging for our students. Some examples we will share include Google Career Expeditions, digital choice boards, and student-created websites. In addition, we have also learned that strategies such as reciprocal teaching paired with technology, helps students develop ownership and pride in learning, giving them a sense of greater purpose in the classroom.

By asking students questions about their learning and comparing it to assessment data, we gain a clear picture of the impact of technology integration while promoting confidence in our students to have a voice in their classroom. We will share the product of opening the lines of communication with our students by sharing instructional strategies, technology platforms, unit plans, assessments, and feedback from the students. We will also share survey samples and templates for instruction that can be customized for educators' use. We are excited to provide tips on integrating student voice in the ELA classroom regarding the use of technology so that participants can leave with a plan for use with their students, colleagues, and leaders.

Supporting research

Groundwater-Smith, Susan, and Nicole Mockler. "From data source to co-researchers? Tracing the shift from ‘student voice to student–teacher partnerships in educational action research." Educational Action Research 24.2 (2016): 159-176.

McKnight, Katherine, et al. "Teaching in a digital age: How educators use technology to improve student learning." Journal of research on technology in education 48.3 (2016): 194-211.

Magaña Sonny. Disruptive Classroom Technologies a Framework for Innovation in Education. Corwin, A SAGE Company, 2017.

Fisher, Douglass, et al. Engagement by Design: Creating Learning Environments
Where Students Thrive. Corwin, 2018.

Quaglia, Russel J., and Michael J. Corso. Student Voice: The Instrument of
Change. Corwin, 2014. (2016). [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Sep. 2019].

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Allison Kreiss has been a Special Education English teacher at the middle and high school level for 15 years. She is a Google Certified Educator and provides workshops on literacy, technology, co-teaching models, and strengthening the relationship between faculty and administration. She has been a contributor and editor for DisruptED TV magazine and The Education Question. Allison presented a poster session at ISTE 2019 entitled "Giving Students Voice and Choice in Technology-Based Literacy Instruction"and has also presented during the Literacy Playground: Innovative Literacy and STEM Learning.

Heather Esposito, Cherry Hill School District

Heather Esposito is the educational technology teacher coach for The Cherry Hill School District in Cherry Hill New Jersey. Prior to this position, she taught high school English for twenty years. She works closely with The Quaglia Institute for Student Voice and Magana Education, promoting the T3 Framework for educational technology integration.

Kelly Healey, Kelly Wilde Healey

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