Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Tech Teacher Was A Fifth Grader

Mather cafe plus computer usersphoto © 2007 faceless b more info (via: Wylio)

I have read it on twitter and seen it in many blogs: Let’s let the students take the lead with teaching some of the Web 2.0 tools. It recently happened in a large suburban San Antonio, Texas school district, North East ISD. Each semester the district sponsors a Saturday staff development day called Super Saturday. The technology session included the GT class of Mrs. Kimberly Ball from Wetmore Elementary School. These fifth graders were very excited about having the opportunity to present to teachers. They were so pumped in fact that they spent hours on their own time during the weekends creating a web site titled “Teachers Come to Learn”. The Saturday before the Super Saturday presentation, the fifth graders held a class for the teachers of Wetmore. According to their principal, Wilbert Morgan, the Wetmore teachers increased their knowledge of web 2.0 tools and enjoyed being taught by their own students. This was an excellent ice breaker for the students and they were now prepared for the twenty NEISD teachers that had signed up for the Web 2.0 technology class that include: Animoto, Voicethread, and Weebly. During the Web 2.0 class, with coaching and assistance from the fifth grade students, teachers logged on and created their own accounts for Animoto, Voicethread, and Weebly. During the class the teachers also created a short animoto video and voicethread. They also received instruction on setting up blogs for their students on Weebly. This was a terrific day for the Wetmore GT class and they can be very proud of the quality presentation given to the NEISD teachers. This was certainly a win-win for students and teachers.
A short video from class

What are your experiences of students teaching a tech class for teachers? I would enjoy hearing from you.


  1. Richard, I love this! What an excellent and awesome idea. This story truly inspires me to contemplate doing something similar at my high school. Kudos on an excellent idea and initiative!

  2. First of all, I love the fact that the district supports further exploration of technology by doing PD once a semester. Second, giving the 5th graders the opportunity to lead the teachers is simply transformational. I truly wish we would tap into resources like our students, or staff members in our own buildings, to lead others in PD. There is no need to always bring in fancy presentations by people that are paid top dollar. We have the resources to do this at a district level and maybe help replenish the school budget that brings in the outside PD. Hmmm, saying money by empowering our own students and staff...novel idea.

  3. Thank you Justin and kristinapeters for your comments.
    Justin, I hope you will allow students at your school to display their technology knowledge and skills for the staff. The positive energy this will create could energize the entire campus.

    kristinapeters, Maybe this finanical crunch we are experiencing will encourage your district to approve this type of PD. Saving $$$ will always sound good at any district office. The real winners will be the students and teachers. I encourage you to spearhead this idea with some of your peers. Best of luck with students leading PD for teachers.

  4. Where do I start??? Turning the tables so that students get to engage teachers? Awesome! Tech PD that regularly reaches out and encourages teachers from the district to actively participate and implement? Fantastic!
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Erin, Thanks for the excited positive comments. Let's begin to see students and teachers sharing the instruction in the classroom also. This sharing will create a deeper engagement from the students and may do wonders for the hard to reach class members.