Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles is hosting what promises to be a very thoughtful day-long conference on Teaching, Technology and Social Justice on March 16, 2013. The keynote speaker is Steve Goodman, founding director of the Educational Video Center (EVC) and author of Teaching Youth Media: A Critical Guide to Literacy, Video Production and Social Change. Several workshops, about an hour and a half each throughout the day, will address how educators integrate digital technology into their social justice curricula and engage in critical dialogues with students about the media they encounter. We’ll also be looking at how the use of digital technology furthers our goals of student engagement and voice in the class or in the community.
I will be presenting there with my colleague Geraldine Loveless, who teaches 7th and 8th grade Science at Windward School. Our workshop, Building Student Leadership and Social Change through Challenge-Based Learning, will explore Challenge-Based Learning (CBL), an engaging multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that asks students to leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve real-world problems. We’ll highlight last year’s 7th grade Food Challenge, the amazing solutions students developed collaboratively in groups to improve the health of their community through food, and this year’s Water Challenge, where students will be implementing projects that increase access to or improve quality of water both locally and around the globe. We are really looking forward to connecting with other educators and reflecting on the use of CBL as a way to further social justice frameworks, 21st century skills and leadership development with students.