Welcome to EdSurge Independent

We’re thrilled to introduce our beta version of EdSurge Independent, a space for students to critically reflect on higher education. If you’re not familiar with EdSurge, we’re an independent information source and community for people involved with educational technology. As our higher-ed team has expanded, we’ve been looking for ways to aggregate and amplify a multitude of student voices and stories. If you’re a student, that’s where you come in.

We’re interested in featuring your stories of higher-ed innovation and experimentation — your thoughts on the transition from high school to college, the pros and cons of an online course, your take on the GPA as a measure of success, or your experience as a first generation student, for instance. We’re asking: what story do you wish faculty, staff, administrators, entrepreneurs and other students knew? We’re looking for writing, of course, but also photo-essays, mini-documentaries, comics, audio-journals and more. There are two ways to participate:

Contributor

Any student can submit a piece. You need only be a student of higher education, pursuing a postsecondary degree or certificate with an accredited college or university. (If you are an exception to this definition of “student” but still want to be involved, fill out the form anyway and we’ll work on a case by case basis.) You’ll be among our first EdSurge Independent contributors, here on Medium.

How to contribute | Create a Medium account. Fill out this form with a story idea or a link to the Medium story you wish to contribute. Feel free to send us essays from class, articles from your school paper, or articles already on Medium. If it can be republished, we’d love to aggregate it here!

Contribution Guidelines | We will review everything you submit, and will publish pieces that are a good fit with limited or no editing!

Cohort

If you’re interested in contributing consistently and participating in our digital community, we’re forming an experimental cohort of student storytellers for the summer.

Goal | We aim to convene a group of approximately 8–10 students who will commit to writing regularly for EdSurge Independent and who want to refine their storytelling chops.

When | The cohort will run from June 13 — August 5 (8 weeks) requiring 3–5 hours/week.

Who are we looking for? | Writers, tinkerers, artists, activists, radicals, conservatives, young and old, from across the world — we want students questioning where higher education is and where it’s going. You must:

  • Be pursuing a postsecondary degree or certificate with an accredited college or university (reach out if you’re an exception to this definition of “student”).
  • Have a clearly demonstrated interest in journalism or digital storytelling.
  • Commit to participating in weekly digital meetups.

Why should you participate?

  • You’ll have a chance to engage in conversation about the direction of higher education with leading doers and thinkers.
  • You’ll connect with other students working to transform higher education from the inside.
  • You’ll be able to take advantage of EdSurge staff resources and experience, including seasoned journalists and multiple “Forbes 30 under 30” thought leaders.
  • You’ll strengthen your creative chops with a collection of other talented storytellers.

Cohort Expectations | Each participant will be responsible for two types of contributions. We estimate this will take you between 3 to 5 hours per week:

  • Medium Posts | 1 every 2 weeks (4 total)
  • These contributions will either be a 500–1000 word opinion-style reflection or a multi-media experience of your choice.
  • We will offer some broad topics for reflection, hopefully creating a body of pieces on issues relevant to students, like “Is the GPA necessary?” or “How might we reimagine student loans?”
  • Community Engagement | Hour-long weekly digital meetups. Participation will include both conversations with EdSurge staff as well as topic ideation and community building. We’ll kick around topics including the future of higher education as well as storytelling and writing.

How to apply | Provide a sample of your storytelling in the application. It does not have to be about higher education. We’re excited about storytelling in many media, so consider submitting a written story (no more than 1000 words), a video short (less than 10 minutes), cartoon strips or illustrations. The sample can be nonfiction, journalistic, opinion or fiction. That said, if it fits our topic and can be re-published, we’ll work with you to make it your first contribution! And it must obviously be your own work. Send us your application by 5pm ET, Friday, June 3, 2016.

What you’ll hear back from us | By Wednesday, June 8, we’ll respond with next steps. While you wait, we will certainly welcome your contributions in EdSurge Independent (see how to contribute above). Note that in our selection, we will consider the makeup of the cohort, as we want to create a community of people from many different backgrounds and institutional affiliations.

Apply here to join the cohort! | Go here to contribute!

Andrew Rikard, EdSurge Editorial Intern and Davidson College Student Class of 2017

Please send questions to andrew.rikard@edsurge.com.