The Power of a School Community: Supporting Student Voice

Maine-Endwell School District Hosts a DigCitSummitEdu

Yesterday was positively awesome because we experienced an entire school community celebrate the power of student voice, a community actively preparing students for the world they live in by focusing on the positive use of technology and social media during a student-run DigCitSummitEDU at the Maine-Endwell School District. The day included a debut of the documentary, Positively Social which was created and produced by Mrs. Murat’s students. The students were the organizers, the speakers and the volunteers and in attendance were students, educators, administrators, school board members, parents and the New York State Senator, Fred Akshar.

Here are some of the highlights from the student presentations:

Digital leadership is a way to amplify student voice beyond our local community.
Rachel Meller, the high school senior responsible for bringing the DigCitSummitEDU to Maine-Endwell School District

Rachel Meller, a high school senior was the student leader behind organizing the DigCitSummitEDU. Her opening remarks highlighted that a positive choice makes an impact beyond your local community.

To be a connected learner, we need digital access to learn about the world with the world.
With the New York State Senator, Fred Akshar and the Superintendent, Jason Van Fossen

Today, I shared my story, The Tales of a 4th Grader on the Importance of Being a Connected Learner. I’m a connected learner in an unconnected classroom. I learn differently at home and wish that all schools could understand that social media is the most powerful learning tool.

I have connected learning opportunities at home, but not at school. I’ve participated in EduMatch, EdChange Global and Pass the Scope sessions before and after school and in November I was part of the Skypeathon and connected with Mrs. Jalland and her students in Scotland where her students sang ‘Flower of Scotland’ in celebration of St. Andrew’s Day. I’ve also joined Mystery Skypes and Google Hangouts and moderated dozens of Twitter chats, but none of this has happened at my school. I believe that learning should look like this in every classroom.

Social media creates an authentic audience.
Casey Adrian speaking at the DigCitSummitEDU

Casey Adrian, a high school junior is a self-published author and credits social media platforms for making this opportunity possible. His first book, Broken-Euphoria was published when he was fifteen years old. His presentation, The Second Renaissance: The Internet credited the Internet for being able to share his book with the world.

Use social media to create empathy; tweet in an effort to help others.
Alicia Vesley speaking at the DigCitSummitEDU

Alicia Vesley, a high school senior shared how social media can be used for social justice. Her presentation, The Power of Social Media highlighted the importance of connections and communication in relationship to empathy. Although we might be on two separate sides of the world, we can connect and communicate as a global community on issues that unite us and make us human.

Here are the highlights from the student panel:

The student panel at the DigCitSummitEDU
All it takes is ONE person to make a difference and be an UPSTANDER.

Christopher Card, a high school junior retold a story about being an upstander and the reasons why students need to be part of the solution.

You are your social brand.

Theresa Karabon, a high school junior reminded us that we control our social brand and that we have the power to make first impressions on social media to be positive based on the choices we make.

Staying connected with friends all over the country helps you maintain important relationships.

Sarah Schepis, a high school senior spoke about modeling the power of connectivity and how students can help teachers and parents make similar connections.

How can you promote kindness? Let’s make a difference together.

Stephanie Muggeo, a high school junior is all about promoting kindness. Being kind is contagious and something that we can all do to help create a positive school culture.

Technology can be fun, so why not make learning more fun?

A third grader from a Maine-Endwell elementary school also joined the student panel. She shared how her classroom uses Schoology and how fun learning can be in a connected classroom.

Rachel Murat, the teacher behind bringing digital citizenship to Maine-Endwell

BRAVO to the Maine-Endwell School District for your commitment to a community approach to digital citizenship. We need more school communities to work together where students, educators, administrators, parents, industry and our elected officials learn side by side. As it has been said, we are #BetterTogether and as we witnessed today, student voice and digital citizenship is a winning combination for local, global and digital communities.

This blog post was written by the mother/son @CurranCentral team because we wanted to share this reflection with the #ECGC17 global community. EdChange Global is happening on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 and we hope classrooms around the world will join the 24 hour online global event where classrooms connect, collaborate and learn together just like we did this weekend at DigCitSummitEDU. Register here: tiny.cc/ecgc17