When you think about a collaborative story, 18 in the Bay is an excellent example of how there can be different meanings for all the people that are connected. 18 in the Bay is a blog set up through Medium that high school seniors contributed to by responding to the instructor’s prompts, questions, and assignments. All of the assignments dealt with being a teenager today, which is easily relatable for any high school senior. For some assignments, the instructor compiled the student’s work together and for others the students used their login to respond.
The collection consisted of essays, poems, snapchats, pictures, charts, and much more. The work was filled with all types of emotions. There were times I laughed, but also times where I felt sorry for the student. What amazes me most is that each student had a voice and their voice was heard.
As a high school teacher, I loved the setup of this blog for a course. It combined many types of media, and the students had the opportunity to respond and have ownership on their posts. I spent over an hour clicking around and reading essays. The students are very open and sharing their struggles, strengths, and celebrations with not only their teacher and peers, but now for the whole world to read. With working with teenagers everyday, I could also relate to these stories. Teenagers have many influences on them today, and reading about their stories was very touching.
I really enjoyed the piece on Survival Guide to High School. These were not just the common tips of surviving high school like do your homework and be on your time. The students were really honest with their advice. Here’s two tips that you would not see on a common top 10 survival tips of high school.
Giving students voice and ownership increases engagement. Imagine the engagement the students had when they had to tell their daily story in 6 pictures or explain songs on a playlist. Do the students see these tasks as assignments or an opportunity for their voice to be heard? The students created their digital story throughout the course. Kudos to the teacher that wanted the students to find their voice!