Posted in 04. Learning-focused culture

Promoting student agency

For my class’s end of term task I wanted them to do something fun but also something that would be real. Our school is looking at designing a new website. So I thought, shouldn’t we get the students’ input? I created a resource with a few ideas, but very little direction. My idea is to eavesdrop and see what they come up with, and so promote collaboration, creativity and student agency.

I introduced it today and the first question was: “Why not get the experts to do this? Why ask 15 year olds?”

So I explained that their ideas mattered. That the website, while it is our contact with the ‘outside world’ should also be something that they refer to and use because it is useful to them. And who knows best what is useful to students than the students themselves?

One group spent pretty much the entire lesson discussing what photos should represent the school. They finally decided that a slideshow would be best. But they were adamant that the slideshow should represent all co-curricular activities.

Another group analysed our website and felt that the colours didn’t match. They also felt that we should have widgets for social media links. Yet another felt that the tabs should include the school app and frequently used contacts.

So that’s after lesson one. I think they will come up with some very useful ideas.


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