Course 2: Week 5

How did we get here? How did we [the education system] create such a disconnection between how teens spend their time outside of the classroom and the learning materials and experiences we often give them?

While we may recognize the power of social media we may not always know how to harness this power. Teachers aren’t always good at ‘giving up’ control and policy may not allow flexibility, healthy boundaries guidelines, or positivity.

I love this collection of resources about getting shifting the perspective of responsible use policies to teacher empowered student use.

This week’s material was particularly engaging and one I will continue to reflect on as I plan for next year. The video below brings to life a solution to this dicotomy.

“We have to get rid of our fear, we have to go beyond this overriding need for control of everything that they do, we have to focus more on empowerment.”

Extracurricular empowerment: Scott McLeod at TEDxDesMoines

Scott McLean illustrations effective learning environments as robust technology-infused places, where students do meaningful work, and where we get out of their way and let them be amazing.

I love that: get out of their way and let them be amazing. I do find at my current school we allow student voice and opportunity to grow into leaders. Our current leadership listens to ideas and with proper rationale, is flexible toward change.

Take a look at our current policy, mostly make public, about social media usage guidelines. Positively speaking, we think of responsible usage policy as a community effort. Shifting wording to be more positive and reader-friendly could be areas of improvement. I’ve love to form a task force to revamp this. I note with appreciation, teachers have been asked feedback regarding this agreement about our entire operations manual.

Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

One project I’ve added to my curriculum that has organically empowered students to use social media is the 20Time Project, inspired by teacher Laura Randazzo. You can find the complete download for FREE here.

We just wrapped up students’ presentations last week and I had a variety of excellent work. Students created video games, blogs, make-up and food tutorial videos, etc.

Moving forward, I want to create more empowered student use policies and culture in the classroom and help others teacher do the same.

How can I continue to help students thrive in a participatory culture?

2 thoughts on “Course 2: Week 5”

  1. Hi Brittany. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wonderings. I’ve wondered the same and as you so rightly put it that at times teachers are reluctant to ‘let go’. I feel adults feel challenged by the changing technologies whereas these youngsters are born to it, hence take to it like a duck to water.

    As a PYPC I’ve had the opportunity to see that every time the students were given control of their learning, some really meaningful and authentic work came through. I’m sure you must have witnessed the same in your students’ presentations.

    Looking forward to reading more about your empowerment and how you create empowered learners.

  2. Hi Brittany,
    I was making the rounds through Cohort 12 blogs and thought I’d stop by to say hi and see how things are going for you in this crazy year. I finished COETAIL Cohort 11 back in the spring and have been anxious to see how online and hybrid learning has unfolded for your group. In regards to your post, I am also very passionate about harnessing the power of social media for learning and think we, as educators, need to play more active roles in modeling and empowering students to lead in positive ways. A colleague in my PLN, Adam Hill ( has started Media by Example, an initiative to do just that. If you haven’t yet connected with him on Twitter or checked out his work, I highly recommend it! Best of luck in your modules and I can’t wait to see more of how you help students thrive in a participatory culture.
    -Reyna (@MsReyna2)

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