Onslow County’s “Un-conference” lets students show how they want to learn

School Watch

Onslow County Schools is switching up their summer technology conference by getting the students involved. 

At the annual “Un-conference,” students show teachers how technology has helped them in the classroom.

Ross Friebel, the digital learning director for Onslow County Schools, said, “It’s just a great opportunity for our students to take that leadership role to show teachers what gets them excited in the classroom.”

And the students get to show off the projects they’ve worked on all year.

It is called an “Un-conference” because it’s not the typical conference run by teachers and for teachers.

It’s run by students so they can show how it is that they learn best.

Students like Ayanna Davis said it gives them the opportunity to influence the way they’re taught.

“In classes, if we’re just learning, we kind of get bored,” said Davis. “But with this you can work with partners or a team, and you’re still learning, but it’s fun.”

It gives teachers the opportunity to see what works from a kid’s perspective.

“They’re not holding back,” said Friebel. “They’re telling them exactly what they want to hear. and they’re not holding back their enthusiasm. I think that’s been the best thing is seeing the kids being excited.”

Students are not afraid to tell teachers what they think doesn’t work. 

“If we’re just doing notes or reading articles we get bored,” said Davis. “And then we just kind of zone out. But if we’re having fun we’re going to pay more attention to it.”

More than 200 kids and more than 300 adults came out to the conference today.

“The fact that they’re excited enough,” said Friebel, “to come back to school once school is out for them really speaks a lot about the enthusiasm that the kids have when it comes to learning with technology.”

It not the first “Un-conference,” but it is the largest attendance they have had.

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