Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Innovative Educator hosts keynote student panel at 9 pm EST tonight!

What happens when students are kept prisoners of their teacher's past?

For today’s youth life outside of school is a fast-paced, connected environment where students have the freedom to learn in the spaces and with the tools they love. Once inside school walls however, digital devices and resources are often banned, collaborating is viewed as cheating, tools of engagement are seen as weapons of mass distraction, and students are prohibited from accessing the very sites and resources necessary for real-world success. 

During the Learning 2.0 Live Virtual Event I spoke to a panel of tech savvy students devoted to education reform. We discussed:

  • Problems that result when we restrict students from using technology
  • Some of the flawed logic for doing so, and
  • Solutions to overcome these obstacles  

Listen to the session here.

Students who will be on the panel include (in alphabetical order):

Jabreel Chisley |  Ohio Virtual Academy Sophomore
A sophomore with the Ohio Virtual Academy and an advocate for and researcher of meaningful responsible education reforms, special education, early childhood education, poverty issues, and gender and sexuality equality within public schools. Also blogs for the Cooperative Catalyst, a progressive education reform blog, as a student blogger.
Twitter:  @enragedstudent 

Lucia Grigoli | Newton North High School Senior Lucia is a senior at Newton North High School in Newton, Massachusetts. She serves on her school's Student-Faculty Administration, where she introduced and successfully passed a  bill to utilize social media in school for educational purposes.

In addition to her work on the local level, Lucia is a national advocate for student voice. She helps lead a national initiative to give students a voice in their own education, in addition to being a board member at both the I.M.P.A.C.T Academy for Youth and the National Young Women’s Council.
Twitter: @luciagrigoli

Nikhil Goyal | Syosset High School Junior
At age 17, Nikhil Goyal is the author of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School to be published in September 2012 by Alternative Education Resource Organization. His pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NBC, Huffington Post, and Edutopia. He has also contributed three Letters to the Editors for the New York Times. Nikhil has spoken to thousands at conferences and TEDx events around the world from Qatar to Spain. He has also guest lectured at Baruch College in New York. He is leading a Learning Revolution movement to transform the American school system. A senior at Syosset High School, Nikhil lives with his family in Woodbury, New York.
Twitter:  @TalkPolitical

Imtiaz Majeed |  West Orange High Graduate, 2012
Imtiaz is a 17 year old entrepreneur, blogger and lifelong learner.
Twitter:  @ImtiazZMajeed
Where you will be joining from: Orlando, Florida

Zak Malamed |  Great Neck South High Graduate, 2012
Zak Malamed is an 18-year-old advocate for the student voice in education policy. He is the organizer of the #StuVoice Twitter chats and These efforts focus on uniting and centralizing the student voice. Futhermore, Student Voice provides a support network of students worldwide that will work with students and for students to enhance and empower the student voice.

A graduate of Great Neck South High School, Malamed served as Class President for three years and Student Government President for one year. He also served as Long Island Regional Director and Political Director for the New York High School Democrats. He works summers at The Lanier Law Firm, PLLC. Malamed also serves on the Do Something Youth Advisory Council, the National Youth Association’s Policy Council, and is working closely with local politicians to develop youth advisory cabinets. In 2012, he received both the NASSP/Herff Jones Principal's Leadership Award and awards from the Long Island Press for his work as a high school journalist. Today he practices journalism at The Student Voice blog and as a
contributor to the Huffington Post. This fall he will be a freshman Government and Politics major at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Twitter:  @zakmal

Nathan Wong |  McGill University Management Psychology Student
Nathan is an undergraduate student at McGill University. He loves to find novel ways to apply the concepts he is learning in school to real-life organizations and social situations, with a particular focus on the field of education. To do so, he creates and facilitates workshops, blogs, Tweets, and has speaks at conferences such as this year’s 140edu conference.
Upon graduation in 2013 Nathan plans to implement his ideas on a larger scale and is considering doing this via being a curriculum designer, a team-building coach, or an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist.

Nathan is passionate about helping students explore their fullest potential, and to understand the inexorable value of learning. He believes that our educational systems have yet to catch up with the past 50+ years of psychological literature. Nevertheless, he has faith that, in the future, our schools will find ways to better motivate and inspire their students.
Twitter:  @Engaging_Edu


  1. Hmmm ... I'm sure that the kid from Great Neck has had to deal with a lot of the strife and challenges in life. Did he ever get over losing Daisy?

    And if you're going to talk about how teachers are KEEPING STUDENTS PRISONERRRRRRRRR (OMINOUS MUSIC), shouldn't you have at least ONE teacher on the panel?

  2. @Anonymous,
    You are right. There should be a teacher and an administrator participating too. Fortunately we will have a teacher and administrator on the panel that has worked for more than a decade with children, teachers, and administrators using technology to engage learners, leaders, and educators to work that is worthy of the world. That happens to be me.

    Additionally the panel is not about strife and challenges it is about what can happen when students are empowered to learn with the tools they own and love. You are right to assume that this is less of an issue in high SES schools. This deserves attention as access and the freedom to use the the learning tools that serve you best should be the case in all schools.

    1. An echo chamber is not a discussion.

    2. Anyone is invited to attend and I shared the opportunity to be on the panel with many students, not just those who share my belief. The reality is that most students do feel they should have the freedom to learn with the tools and resources they'll need for success in the world. If you disagree, you are welcome to join us tonight.

  3. This should be an interesting and lively discussion. Some technology is just too big of a distraction in the classroom, but other technology can be a great learning tool. I can see many teachers wanting to teach the same way they did 10-15 years ago, but I think those methods are dated now. We need to find the right balance with new technology in the classroom.