I love witnessing miraculous things, and I love it even more when it’s kids performing the miracles.

I attended a conference last weekend called EdJEWcon in Jacksonville, Fla., where I attended a “Speed Geeking” session designed and presented by fourth- and fifth-grade students. In the session, participants were engaged in a speed dating model but with technology. Each of the seven students prepared a five-minute presentation around a technology they cared about and shared with the participants how it impacted their learning. Students shared a variety of technologies including blogging, iMovie, Frames, and more.

The whole model reminded me of a discussion I had several weeks ago at EdCamp Buffalo about student S.W.A.T. teams: Students Who Assist with Technology. These are students who help each other and their teachers learn new software and hardware tools.

This is EXACTLY the kind of student-centered authenticity that schools need more of. In fact, I would love to see much much more of this going on in schools, particularly in faculty meetings. This would be a fantastic use of faculty meeting time to not only introduce new tools but to add new tools to everybody’s toolboxes. This also invites students into design and instructional practice and gives them an opportunity to be valued as contributing members of the school.

I’ve talked with administrators all over about leveraging digital tools like Padlet or Today’s Meet or Google Docs to have “meetings without meetings.” Asynchronous, anytime available digital opportunities increase participation in discussions and ease the dissemination of information without having to sit through a meeting that was called for the sake of saying we had one.

Speed Geeking is a way to kick that up several notches and upgrade the way a faculty meeting is run. Imagine it: student led faculty meetings! #AwesomeAwesomeAwesome

I was so impressed with these students and was absolutely thrilled to be able to see them in action. Kudos to the students at Martin J. Gottlieb Day School.

Images from Jon Mitzmacher

Mike Fisher (@fisher1000) has more than a decade of classroom and professional-development experience. He is a full-time educational consultant and instructional coach and works primarily with school districts to integrate the Common Core State Standards, make data-informed instructional decisions, sustain their curriculum mapping initiatives and immerse instructional technology. Learn more at The Digigogy Collaborative or on his blog.

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