Conference Presentation

This is support for my short 15 minute presentation at the 3rd Annual International Conference on Innovation in Education (my translation to English) in Mexico City on December 13, 2016.

Tools of the Trade

I’ve written before about my work with various tools, the focus lately is on student blogging and using a FeedWordPress setup to create a connected course where my students (and anyone else) can view the syndicated posts of the students in a single place.

The key here is that the students #Reclaim ownership of their content and host on their own blogs in the locations that they choose. Please read Audrey Watters’ work (yes all of it) but related here are two posts:

My version of #flipclass is less about videos of content and more about flipping the ownership of learning and roles of the student and teacher.

From A Devil's Dictionary of Educational Technology published by Bryan Alexander at
From A Devil’s Dictionary of Educational Technology published by Bryan Alexander at

The Real Focus Here: Students

I ask my students to send reviews of my courses at the end of each semester. Some write as a blog entry, some create videos short and long. Here I include a selection (I have well over a hundred of these) that I will share in the session as well as others I cannot due to time.

Note that these are all hosted on their own blogs and YouTube accounts, this is their data and their material to share. My role is to give them the opportunity to express themselves.


Paola (@PaoPgv on Twitter) did a wonderful job in this English language short video (2 minutes). She is so creative and passionate.


You really should go read Fredele’s blog. I have my favourite posts (hint: tacos, flowers) but I will let you decide for yourself which is your favourite. Follow Fredele on Twitter.

Tannia (Fredele’s mother)

One really interesting consequence of teaching in the open is exposing your course, yourself and your students to the public. I have colleagues that arrive to comment on Twitter and in student blogs but this semester I gained a special follower on Twitter: Tannia Lozano (@TanniaLozano) who is Fredele’s mother.  I could see her “likes” or “retweets” on our TC2027 posts and she also provided two videos for us: one in English and one in Spanish. Wow! This truly touched my heart as an educator.


Cindy has the most amazing blogging voice. It starts with the title on her blog: Mental Droppings of a Tired Student.

My colleagues in the Virtual Connecting community received many links to my students posts and Cindy’s style drew many in to leave comments. Great use of images and she really let her voice show in her blog posts. She is a powerful ball of energy and I look forward to seeing her future success now that she has graduated.

Check out Cindy’s video review:


This was the second time I taught TC1019 Introduction to Software Engineering, that last time was a few years back. I decided to continue my #AbolishGrading experiment combined with flipped mastery and the connectivity. #AllTheTools

We also invited Kin Lane (The API Evangelist), Kent Beck and Tobias Weingartner to interact with the students this semester (Google Hangout with Kin, Facebook private group Ask Me Anything with Kent and Tobias separately). I believe it worked well, this group had the best results (comments and scores) on teaching evaluations. I look forward to teaching this again.

Daniela and Pepe

These are students from a few years back in a previous version of #TC101 but one of my students in communications helped make this video and others about #flipclass. I love the messages from Daniela and Pepe here which was recorded over a year after their only course with me.

Feature Image Credit

I love the message and the image.

flickr photo by mikefisher821 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license
flickr photo by mikefisher821 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Your Thoughts?

Please share your ideas, thoughts, feedback below.


17 thoughts on “Giving Students an Authentic Voice

    1. I think this could scale easily to 50 students but we really would need to be sure to lean more on the peer learning.

  1. I love these video reflections, Ken, the student (and mom) voices say so much more than some bubble fill evaluation. And to see the different ways they use the media- setting, the editing cuts in Paola’s, the voice they choice, is all so human.

    I’ve always like using the approach I learned from Martha Burtis, where you ask students to give advice to future students in the same class. They always end up talking about their own experience in a way that does not feel like they are trying to say what they think you want to hear (not that’s what comes across in your student videos).

    1. Thanks Alan. I got the idea from someone else who wrote about asking students for “a letter to next year’s class of students”. I started this a few years back so I must have about 100 of these videos or more.

      They really are powerful and the videos (Spanish and English) from Tannia are wonderful. I cherish videos like these and view them on those days where I need a motivational push.

      Also, how is it that I needed to authorize an Alan Levine comment, you should have permission to publish anywhere! Thanks again.

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