Edtech Solutions
Network Summit

Voices of Change: Helping Students and Teachers Tell Powerful Stories

Change display time — Currently: Central Daylight Time (CDT) (Event time)
Location: MCCNO Room 293-4
Experience live: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite
Watch recording: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite

Listen and learn : Panel

Deitra Colquitt  
Aisha Douglas  
Jennifer Yoo-Brannon  
Jeffrey Young  

The pandemic and the national conversation about racial identity has given educators and students a front-row seat to today's era-defining conversations. Learn from our panel of educators, who have completed an EdSurge writing fellowship, on how personal, narrative essay writing can help learners and leaders reshape our world.

Audience: Coaches, Principals/head teachers, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Equity and inclusion
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.
  • Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will leave the session with actionable tips and resources for strengthening their narrative writing and passing these skills on to students. They will learn specific tips and tools for publishing their work and that of their students. They will learn considerations for publishing student work vs. adult work, and communicating effectively with a global audience.


Introductions and context: 10 minutes
Panel discussion: 20 minutes
Q&A with audience: 15 minutes

Supporting research

Strong rhetorical and narrative writing skills have long been enshrined in standards like Common Core and are considered essential for effective communication. Our fellowship is backed by research by Learning Policy Institute and others showing the benefits to student learning when taught by diverse educators.

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Deitra Colquitt, School District of University City

Deitra Colquitt, EdS is currently a co-principal at Pershing Elementary School, completing her second year after embarking on a successful, community-based redesign and implementation of a co-principalship leadership model. Mrs. Colquitt is certified in Middle School Language Arts (5-9), K-12 Special Reading, and School Leadership (K-8). Principal Colquitt is committed to serving the community that helped her develop into the person she is today. Principal Colquitt is one of the inaugural Voices of Change Fellows sponsored by EdSurge.

Aisha Douglas, Achievement First Brooklyn High School

Aisha is currently an Academic Dean at Achievement First Brooklyn High School focusing on teacher development, curriculum development, and student success. She believes empowering teachers to bring their authentic experiences and voices to the classroom space creates an environment that encourages students to confidently share their experiences. Aisha’s goal is to ensure students see that their voices are valued and are a necessary part of controlling the narratives for their communities and themselves. As an EdSurge Voices of Change Writing Fellow, she tackles the need for more radical approaches to building school communities that foster innovation, creativity, and empowerment.

Jennifer Yoo-Brannon, El Monte Union High School District

Jennifer Yoo-Brannon is a teacher and instructional coach in El Monte, California, with over 16 years of experience teaching high school students, mentoring teachers, and designing and facilitating professional learning. Jennifer’s passions include: building collective teacher efficacy, designing meaningful professional learning, and fostering emotional resilience among all educators. She is an Edsurge Voices of Change Writing Fellow and has written for Edsurge and The California Educator.

Jeffrey Young, EdSurge

Jeffrey R. Young is managing editor at EdSurge, leading a team of journalists covering the future of learning and hosting EdSurge’s weekly podcast. He previously spent 20 years at The Chronicle of Higher Education as a reporter and editor. In 2014 he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where he was also a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Young has written for national publications including The New York Times, Slate, and The Wall Street Journal. Young has also taught classes and workshops on digital journalism, including at the University of Maryland and the University of Minnesota.

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