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Woman Helping Students

The Value of an Inside Perspective

by Evie Blad

Education Week

Article excerpt

For a Day, School Leaders Urged to Immerse Themselves in a Student's Life

A group of education organizations is challenging school leaders around the country to spend one day shadowing individual students so they can develop greater empathy for their charges’ experiences. Participants in the Shadow a Student Challenge sign up to follow one child for a full day during the week of Feb. 29 to March 4, eating lunch with them, attending classes, and maybe even riding the bus with them.

Our take

Walk a Mile in Their (Digital) Shoes

Some education organizations are challenging teachers to shadow their students to learn more about their activities outside of the classroom. Such shadowing can also help in other ways: as teachers observe students in their natural environments, they may glean insights related to students’ use of technology that could be used to better engage them in the classroom. Could this approach lead to better insights in your district?

The ability to most effectively leverage the many potential benefits of technology requires an understanding of how students engage with technology outside of the classroom. As digital natives, today’s students are seldom far away from a smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer. Understanding how they interact with these devices can point to ways of introducing technology in the classroom in more natural ways that will better engage these young learners.