THE FWSU STORY: GEMS Students Shape Future of Technology in their School

As our district continues to collaborate and study what tech devices will best meet the needs of students in future years, we have come to the conclusion that it is imperative to hear from students and let them express themselves from their perspective.

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Diverse groups representing the student body were formed from various grade levels in elementary and middle schools and each took part in a unique collaborative approach.  This conversation among peers was held to determine the future of technology and what it should look like for every student in every classroom.

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The process used to gather information is known as Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative inquiry is a four-step process that begins with and helps to define purpose, content, and what needs to be achieved to gain knowledge for decision-making purposes:

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  1. The first step is Discovery.  Discovery is based on dialogue as a way of finding “what works” currently and appreciating the best of what is.
  2. The second step is Dreaming. Envisioning “what could be” and projecting hopes, wishes, and aspirations for the future.
  3. Step three is Designing.  Design brings together the stories from discovery with the imagination and creativity from dreaming. It asks, “what should be?”
  4. The final step is Destiny.  We now ask, “What will make the most sense, what will be sustainable, and what will it look like moving forward?

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This inquiry approach was a great success as valid points were offered and thoughtful information was expressed. Students took the time to be mindful of their responses and provided valuable information to stakeholders in their future education. A great exhibition of the leaders they are and the leaders they will become.

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