Reimagining Classrooms: Teachers as Learners and Students as Leaders | Kayla Delzer | TEDxFargo

Translator: Noelia Castellano
Reviewer: Nada Qanbar On the first day of school this year, I had a little boy, get up in my face
and he screamed at me. He said “I hate school. I hate teachers.
I don’t wanna be here.” I remember taking a calm breath,
finding my biggest smile and I got down on his level and I said “I promise you’re going to love
school this year.” If we take a look at classrooms
over the past 70 years, we are seeing the same type of classrooms,
and the same type of learning environments standing up to 70 years. It is my goal to continually revitalize
learning and the classroom. This is a picture of my classroom
this last school year. I see classrooms differently. These are some of my students. I see my students differently, and I see the way
that they learn differently. The results I get are incredible. As teachers and educators
we must embrace the students of today to reimagine tomorrow. First, we must wonder
how we can release the power. For as long as schools have existed, teachers have been the main source
of knowledge in the classroom. Teachers are the gatekeepers for
everything that happens in the classroom. We are in charge of everything students
do or don’t do. As teachers, let’s not misuse this power. In 2015 we have more resources available
at our fingertips than ever before. This gives us the ability, as teachers, to make our classrooms less
teacher-centred and more student- centred. Let’s embrace that. Teachers don’t need to master
every single app or every single tool before we hand it over the students. In my classroom I like to use
a student teaching student model. So I would give an app or a tool
to a student, I would have them learn how to use it, and then I’d have them go teach
all the other students and myself how to use that app. Teachers don’t need to master at all. Let’s get kids involved in projects
like Genius Hour. Genius Hour is based on
Google’s 20% policy, where kids will actually get 1 hour a week to study things that
they are passionate about. Instead of telling them things
they have to learn every single day. This really gives kids ownership
in their learning and it makes it very relevant to them. This also means that a lot of the time my students are going to know
more than me. That’s awesome. Embrace their knowledge
and they’ll embrace their learning. Second, we must wonder how
we can embrace purposeful technology. Using technology just for the sake
of using technology is wasteful. If it doesn’t transform your classroom,
or your teaching or your learning, just skip it, don’t use it. If the same project can be done
using paper or pencil, it’s not transforming your classroom. Always start with your purpose. If something is boring on paper,
it’s still going to be boring on an iPad. Let me tell you what I mean by that. If I give my students
an addition worksheet on paper, they are going to think that
it is mind-numbingly boring. They are going to stare at me. If I take that same worksheet
and I put it on an iPad… Guess what? It’s still
mind-numbingly boring for them to do. Boring things on paper are still boring
when you put them on an iPad. Even apps have different purposes now. Some apps are skill- based and repetitive,
while other apps are project- based. Let’s turn kids loose to go create
something, and not just play games. If you actually have to leave
your classroom to go to a computer lab, the technology is not
at the point of instruction. Let’s take technology
in the hands of kids when they need it, and where they need it. This is a picture of a little girl
in my class I had this last school year. Her name is Molina Molina is following along
with a classmate recording of the book that she is reading. She scanned the QR code
taped to the back of that book to access this recording. This app transformed my reading block. This app helps instill a love of reading
and a sense of pride among my students. Not to mention my reading fluenty scores
improved exponentially. Third, we must wonder
what my mentor once told me. He said “Kayla, don’t feed the fears.” Schools are still banning cell phones. Principals are still banning cell phones
from teacher’s staff meetings Schools are even building
what they call cell phone hotels. (Laughter) This is a real thing. Let me tell you how this works. When kids come to school in the morning, they check their cell phone
at the cell phone hotel. At the end of the school day, they get to check their cell phone back
out of the cell phone hotel. We have more technology
in the palm of our hands now that what put men on the moon. We are telling our students
“leave your technology at home. Keep your mobile device in your locker.
Are you hiding a cellphone? Did you check your cellphone
into the cellphone hotel?” What are we doing? (Laughter)
(Applauses) Schools in the United States
are still blocking YouTube. Did you know that YouTube
is the number one used search engine among students in grades 5 to 12. This is utterly incomprehensible. So much learning is lost. We block
all of these resources from our students. We might think that
we are protecting our kids when we keep them in this little bubble
for 8 hours of the school day. But guess what? These kids leave and go home.
They graduate. They try to get jobs. If we block all of these things
during the school day we are not protecting them,
we are actually hurting them. We need to put kids in real world
learning authentic environment during the school day and give them the tools
that they need to be successful so that we can actually
protect them for a life time. Jumping in the new technologies
or social media can sometimes be scary. We need to always keep in mind
that if it right for kids, it’s right. Sometimes the confort level of teachers is less important than doing
what’s right for kids. My kids have never lived in a time
without Wi-Fi or mobile devices. My kids have never
felt the pain of T9 texting. (Laughter) They’ve never had to experience
dial-up Internet. (Laughter) Technology is the language
today’s students speak. Furthermore, as educators it is our job
to be champions of digital citizenship. 93% of employers now use
social media in some way to either recruit or hire employees. That means that if our students leave us with a neutral
or a negative digital footprint they have just a 7% chance
of getting a job. Seven percent. My friend George Couros
challenges us as educators to make sure that every single
high school graduate is well googled. I challenge you to google yourself. Go have your students google themselves
and like what they see. What does your digital footprint
say about you? We must wonder as educators
how we can make global connections. It is now our job to make sure that
we are connecting our students globally. This probably sounds
a lot harder than it actully is. With just a few clicks, you can do a virtual field trip
to the Smithsonian Institute. Or you can bring your students on a
virtual field trip to the Sistine Chapel. Learning is no longer limited to just
our classroom, or our school, or our state or even our planet. You can now take your students on
a virtual field trip to the stratosphere. Do a Google Hangout with
a classroom in Hong Kong to expose your kids to new
and different cultures. Give them the practice
that they are going to need with the real live speaking
and listeing skills of the 21th century. Set up a classroom twitter account. Have your kids tweet with experts from
the world, like Brad Waid and Jen Jones. Have your kids tweet with
other classes around the world to share and compare their learning. Don’t be the four walls that hold
your kids back or limit their learning. Break down those walls and go global. We must wonder
how we can reinvent the skills of today. While standardize test might have
a valid place in our schools, we need to start assessing teachers
and students in others ways too. I assess my students
on their creativity, collaboration, critical thinking
and communication skills. I assess my kids on their grit and how they are able
to find success through failure. I assess my kids on
their digital literacy skills and others skills they are going to need
when they graduate to be successful employees, citizens and
innovator individuals in the real world. Assess me on how will I prepare kids for
their future when they leave my classroom. While difficult to assess,
this should serve as our daily mission. It should guide our teaching
and learning values. A compass for a true educational north. Everyone, here is my challenge for you. We are now 15 years into the 21th century. We need to make sure
that our schools and our classrooms are as engaging, responsive
and dynamic as the world around us. Do you remember that little boy
that I talked about at the beginning? Well, his name is Christian. He came to me that first day of school litlerally wanting to be anywhere else
in the world but my clasroom. Well, on the last day of school Christian
was craying out of control. He was refusing to leave my classroom. (Laughter) Why? Because he didn’t want to let go
our very last hug. Pretty different than
the first day of school. For the first time in his life
Christian loved school. He loved coming to school,
he loved learning, he loved everything about being with me. I saw amazing growth not only in Christian
but in the rest of my students as well. What doesn’t often get
talked about though, is the impact that students
have made on my life. Everyday my students taught me
about humility and being a real
and authentic person. They taught me to have tons of patience. They taught me to have a sense of humor
and be able to laught at myself. And so many more things. Technology changes.
The laws that we have will change. The standards that we use to asses
our kids are going to change again. But one thing remains
constant through time. Relationships between students
and passionate teachers will always be the foundation
of successful classrooms. (Applause)

95 Responses

  1. Kaia Hassel says:

    YOU ROCK!!! <3

  2. Amanda Riviera says:

    This is why I love Interactive Media. It really should be used more in classrooms. Teachers need to be taught how to tell what technology will assist and enhance the classroom, rather than discounting all of it as the same as the worst of it.

    Play is fundamental to learning, and is by definition interactive, with others and the world around them. Interactive Media, including video games (of course the value ranges), is the most immersive way to learn. Rather than reject the digital world, we need to embrace what it can do and use it to our advantage.

    Great talk.

  3. Aisha Sheffield-Watts says:

    i wish more teachers were like you!!! Some schools don't even allow teachers to have this much freedom in their curriculums. You should go into consultating all over the country on changing the design and dynamics of classrooms 🙂

  4. Jennifer Mulligan says:

    I enjoyed your message. Thanks for sharing it. What is the name of the app you mentioned that allows your students to make audio books for each other?

  5. John Adams says:

    Man has never been on the moon bimbo. NASA lied and still lies. The moon s NOT 234,000 miles away, were NOT spinning at 1000 or 30,000 mph and the sun is NOT 93,000,000 miles away and they in their wet dream wish mars even existed. NASA is a lying ass govt agency. Why haven't they been back to the moon since the 70's

  6. Jen Jones says:

    Kayla is freaking amazing! She is changing education one student and teacher at a time! Loved every word she said. #ygg

  7. Teach at the Beach says:

    Great job, Kayla! Awesome speech! Very motivating and inspiring. Getting ready to look at my curriculum and brainstorm some techy ideas!

  8. Jack Sinenomine says:

    Let's reimagine TEDx.  Stupid blond women sit down.

  9. johnnyboyvan says:

    Welcome to the dumbing down of education. And the following year they had a traditional teacher and disliked education again. Amen.

  10. anderson alejandro alba cubillos says:

    Where is she from?

  11. Julie Cain says:

    I'd love to know the name of the app that allows students to record books for their classmates to read. Does anyone know what app that is?

  12. L. Tran says:

    I love this

  13. Teachers Have Class says:

    I love this speech and I love your scope!

  14. Tôi yêu Việt Nam says:

    Although I am not a mainstream teacher in a school as such but I found her conclusion is true at the core of how to make a change in a class and a change in student's life. "Class" here can be any thing, whether it is a boyscout group, a youth group, a community class of some sort… Thank you Kayla Delzer.

  15. Jeannie Spuhler says:

    You are amazing Kayla. I love that you are bringing light to this. It infuriates me that there are still so many educators who are unwilling to embrace change and meet the times where they are.- Social media and tech training needs to be part of professional development, implemented throughout each school district, and should be mandated for all. It's RIDICULOUS that in some classrooms in my school district the teachers have class blogs, websites, and use and teach tech in the classrooms, while right in the next room over, it's a scene from Bedrock.

  16. Mane Flemming says:

    Only issue with cell phones is they are to addicted to doing everything else on it besides what you are allowing them to use it for. Fight videos, twerk videos, or just vines and cell phone games distract from a class lesson. Can't use them on EOGs.

  17. Lydia Hinrichs says:

    Mrs.Delzer was my teacher in 2 and I learned so much and she was and still is my fav teacher and as she would say you are A.W.U.E.S.O.M.E. Awesome awesome totally!

  18. Zeke D'AVY says:

    We said the same about the power of cell phones until you have your first incident of SPED students being filmed in the bathroom or trying to eat lunch. Or after your first dozen fights that start over texts received during school. Otherwise inspirational!

  19. Nely Navas de Rentas says:

    teachers with the autonomy, democracy, money, and independence can do this. Teachers chained to political research political chains political threats cannot.

  20. Sabrina Bryson says:

    I'm glad she has lots of cute sayings and cliches. That's about all I could stand of this video.

  21. Barbara Fitzner says:

    We need to make sure that our kids can look each other in the eye and have a conversation, not just connect. It's the relationship that made Christian love school and not the classroom design or the technology.

  22. Britt W. says:

    What is the name of the app you used to record student's reading particular books?

  23. Kosmpolitanna Orwell says:

    Straight to the point, refreshing outlook on learning that should be reconsidered by all teachers really. Old methods might be obsolete in the 21 century as student has been born into high tech world therefore they need corresponding challenges so taking away technology from themthinking it's for their own good and protection, is definitely not preparing them to face the world outside. LOved the talk, the point at the end is solid.

  24. Sagar Tandon says:

    this is one of the best TEDx/ TED talk on education I have seen 🙂

  25. Annabelle Rankin says:

    This is irritating, Stop worshipping technology. Learning is lost when you imagine that having a search engine helps you learn – it helps you use a search engine. So what if some tasks are 'boring' and not like having instant fun in your hands (cell phones, iPads, etc) – life is like that, learning is like that. Use the 4 skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) UNAIDED by technology in school to really develop their actual abilities.

  26. sahil nanda says:

    Awesome Kayla:)

  27. Paula Kerns says:

    Great talk Kayla. Did you use a specific app to record books for students to read along? I think this would be so wonderful for struggling readers who want more access and support.

  28. siloPIRATE says:

    7:30 Don't knock T9 texting. It was good.

  29. siloPIRATE says:

    8:28 Never Google yourself. Ever

  30. abdullah ifthiquar says:


  31. Lynn McTyre says:

    great !!

  32. Rebecca Hickert says:

    I want to meet you! This is what I've been trying to impart in my school!!! It's not about teacher comfort–it's about student learning! I had the opportunity to hear George Couros a year ago, and he got this ball rolling for me, too.

  33. jana janardhan reddy says:

    Truth become horrible super

  34. ThatBaker says:

    The main problem in school is what they teach and how they teach it, we need to either get rid of or change our "Common Core". Ask any student or even a parent and most will tell you that the Common Core is useless. We need to be teaching our children how to use social media and the internet in general responsibly. This is because the internet is how businesses are recruiting employees.

    We also need to teach them how to manage money. Most young adults have little knowledge about how to manage their finances because we never taught them how.

    Schools now are also incorporating technology, to an extent, they are scrictly managing how children use the technology. This is because schools are very mistrusting, but they have a mild point. The internet can become distracting, however it can also teach children things that teachers can't.

    Schools also need to be more hands-on when it comes to learning. It one thing to learn how a system works, it's another to actually build a new or better an existing system.

  35. Chesney Boor says:

    The Canadian accent is realllll.

  36. Carol Ward says:

    Your'e too old for dresses above the knees!! Looks ridiculous, trying to look young when you aren't!

  37. Betsy Pon says:

    what is the app that your child used to record and save the book reading- I know how to do a qr code but what is the app that your student used?

  38. Renee V says:

    I was in agreement until you started with the whole "big brother bad, technology good"
    rant!. Do you not really understand that your model has less in the way of structure AS IT DOES MORE IN THE WAY OF "self-discipline" – which you seem to have no REAL idea (more-or-less) plan for adaptation? In today's society, self-control is as much of a paradox as the first stated. You might want to visit Ken Robinson's or Ken Hutton's TED as far as infiltrating structure over fly-by-seat-of-their-pants methodology…….

  39. Allison says:

    This is the teacher who just loves chevron print, is "addicted to" Starbucks, and says "Awesome!" with smily emojis all the time. Yeah, I'll take her seriously.

  40. Nick Herman says:

    FYI The idea that google gives a day a month (or whatever) to let their employees work on whatever they want has apparently not been true for many years, and if ever, was applicable only for some of its employees (certain engineers).

  41. Ares Thapa says:

    Competition with others is brutal and inhuman cos we cut out brother's throat with competition.

  42. Alfredo Maza says:

    yes yes yes you undorten less teaches more students in clases

  43. Alfredo Maza says:

    and more teachers for eges 30 And up 50 .

  44. Alfredo Maza says:

    a lot to teach Japan is best sales then us case the education

  45. Yinelly Rodriguez says:

    BYOD (bring your own device) approach to student learning is HUGE on schools who value technology as a form of investigating, researching, and student engagement. I truly am passionate about inquiry-based learning. She highlighted this fact in such beautiful and meaningful way.

  46. Dr. Edward Santiago says:

    Has anyone tried to give a lecture while everyone is texting on their cell phones?

  47. steve frazier says:

    My students are in my room to do one thing. WORK. WORK. WORK…oh well, three things.

  48. MusicaAngela says:

    I teach the cello, a very difficult instrument that requires calm and focus on a daily basis for many years. My students who do well are the ones who are not using technology all day long. Learning a musical instrument requires more of the brain than any other activity and there are many disadvantages of technology use that can harm the brain and the body. For children I believe it is best to severely limit its use.

  49. Gauri Tanwar says:

    What an amazing talk!!

  50. teachlikeagirl says:

    This is incredible … Kayla is an inspiration for all teachers!!!!

  51. Tinkerbell13 sunny says:

    She is not doing anything different than what great teachers are already doing!!!

  52. Zachary Lewis says:

    Mhhmm… Kids will use cell phones responsibly… Think again. Maybe for specific assignments. Project based learning..this is not any new. I learned nothing from this clip.

  53. Kanav Rajput says:

    Great to hear you kayla ! i will try my best embrace, my interns, accordingly. Thank you ! love from INDIA

  54. GraceAnn Gammon says:

    One of the best TedTalks I have watched yet. Very very good! I took so many notes and as a hopeful teacher, I want to incorporate the things she discussed into my own classroom. Very well done, love this video.

  55. Cali Cole says:

    GREAT, GREAT, GREAT!! Thank you!

  56. audolia Rosari molina says:

    Great!! Other view of teach!!

  57. Hiralal Kapar says:

    It really indeed madam

  58. Kathleen MacFarlane says:

    This is inspiring! This was a great reminder to train one student and let that student train the others. Release the power!

  59. Shannon Stanley says:

    Children don't learn from people they don't like, so releasing the control and giving power to students builds trusting relationships and opens the door to learning.

  60. Ash Has says:

    her voice sounds like a young woman. i like her positive attitude.

  61. Angela King says:

    This talk gave me chills… and hope… and inspiration as I continue to walk on my path as an educator. Thank you!

  62. Jodi Wardlow says:

    I am 110% in agreement, but how do you address standards, district and state assessments? These things aren't going away. How do teachers plan instruction that ensures the foundational skills are met? What are the teach to's for using technology? And what about our schools with little to no access? This is fantastic, and I think this teacher is incredible. But it this realistic, especially will all the mandates and inequality in education?

  63. daisy may160 says:

    Too much technology!!!

  64. Understanding the Threat says:

    It is disturbing that a teaching methodology created by Marxists (Bill Ayers and Company) is not markets in such a dynamic and inviting way. Ms Delzer says our classrooms are "outdated" – yet 40 years ago the United States was number 1 in the world for math, science, engineering etc. With all of the "new vogue" educational methods, we have dropped out of the top 30. I think even Latvia beats us in math these days. This is the intentional outcome of these methodologies. Do your homework folks. This is nonsense. JG

  65. plung3r says:

    "If it's right for kids, it's right !?"
    What is this suppose to mean ? children don't always know what's right from wrong, it's our duty to teach them what's right.
    And children will ultimately learn how to use google, youtube and other search engines without the need to teach them, it'll become their everyday life usage. My mom knew nothing about computers until recently and now she knows how to search in google and youtube.

  66. Abby Scheel says:

    Yes! We should embrace change in the classroom. Let kids take the lead on things – we can learn from them just as much as they learn from us. Allow the flow of creativity without constricting students. Amazing TED Talk!

  67. Suhyoung Choi says:

    Yeh.. You can create digital slaves with this types of education. Do you think how much knowledge is missing in youtube and google and so on? I think it is more than 99%.

  68. Samantha Jane says:

    Cellphones are addictive, they are drugs. And yet we throw it at them thinking these kids will use it wisely. They know more than us, how will they know to use it properly? They get abused in the classroom and are the cause of so many problems. Give students technology yes, but having safety blocks on them is not a bad idea. This woman has clearly not seen the issues that come from cyber bullying, texting through class, listening to iTunes while working and missing out on social interaction.

    I think putting away phones for the school day will help their social media footprint, not hinder it.

  69. Ms.Anisa Aa says:


  70. Tish Smiddy says:

    Thank you 😊. Pioneer on

  71. Nagev says:

    The issue is not using technology in classroom (you know this as a teacher, I hope). But persuading your students to use it wisely for the planned lesson rather than snapchat and insta chats; that have made many of them obsessed with self image! I think the ideal would have been android devices (given from the school?) that have no mainstream social media rubbish installed but have lots of education apps. Then again the other problem is how do you deal with students who are not organised, destroy their equipment and they cant read or write properly because they are used to touch screens most of their lives (stylus maybe? e-caligraphy? etc). The entire curriculum has to be re-approached via media and apps and teachers need training on how to stimulate their 21 century classes in a meaningful way. Old fashioned diy transferable skills are still applicable no matter what century.

  72. Wendy Stuck says:

    I agree 100%! Could I please have the source for the quote, "93% of employers use social media in some way to either hire or recruit employees"? I teach high school, and this could be a part of my "Why does Sra. Stuck do this?" answer set.

  73. Mayku says:

    Really refreshing look on education.

  74. eric barton says:

    Fantastic! Great advice as I head towards teachers college next year.

  75. OSKARSY11 says:

    "If it's right for kids, it's right"? Why? Who says? You say it and we just…BELIEVE it?? Define 'right'? Do you mean – if kids like it, then it's right? Kids like horror films and making mischief. Letting off explosives? Kids like martial arts movies. They like to put into practice what they see in movies. Is that 'right'? Gimme a break lady. Let kids have phones in class so they can text, surf the web etc when they should be listening or engaging in classroom activities? What planet is this?

  76. OSKARSY11 says:

    And, SHE is saying her kids have improved and that everything is great and hunky dory, but of COURSE she would say that. She is big upping herself. It should be up to others to decide the success or otherwise of her classes. I'm not saying she HASN'T been successful, but is her success objective and measurable empirically?

  77. OSKARSY11 says:

    Hug??? You aren't allowed to touch students!!!

  78. Kirsten Smith says:

    What app do you use to record students' reading?

  79. Kittypowaa says:

    To everyone that is saying that students will use technology negatively, yes. It is a possibility. It is also a possibility without it too. Do not judge a tool for the way students use it. Don't blame the tool, fix why they are using it in a negative manner.

  80. Torch Light says:

    hate to tell you but not much has chanced in 2018

  81. raffi tal says:

    what a passionate engaging brilliant courageous talk thanks Kayla

  82. Donna Woodford says:

    Incremental change might get me to a place of comfort, then I'll be asked to change again out of my comfort zone, and again, and…we either evolve and expand, or shrink trying to navigate in a world we hardly recognize. To have the human factor available should be comforting to many individuals such as myself.

  83. Natalie Joya says:

    What is your name

  84. Rich James says:

    The eight-minute mark. Oy vey.

  85. jc3Teacher says:

    Teach kids fhe basics in the early grades. I do too not agree with every word, but she does make a few good points.

  86. EunikeA says:

    you are amazing!!!

  87. petejt says:

    I love that you say "Boring things on paper are still boring on an iPad". It proves that 'digital natives' is a farce – and I'm supposed to be part of that demographic. Electronic technology should be useful, not just a novelty.

  88. Cindy D says:

    ahhh….I'm hearing the words and voice of a Leader in Me educator who not only believes whole heartedly in unleashing potential of her learners but…who teach the correct principles to follow…from the End in Mind (purpose) to releasing power and control…to giving kids the power and voice to lead…to having creating synergy (creative collaboration AND cooperation) to really giving learners that opportunity to have a class (and school) that acts like a compass/true north …I'm a fan of LIM and believe our world would be better off if we could get more people truly connecting to the CORE values, practices and principles that LIM teaches about. When done right…you have educators like Kayla setting a great example….when done incorrectly…well that's another story. But yes…she definitely sounds like she lives and models the Habits. Great speaker!!!

  89. iCan Mind Official says:

    great speech….

  90. Anand Nanavati says:

    I do not agree on technology enhancing learning for kids below 10 yrs (at least). It's only giving lots of information, but what imagination and creativity? Kids do get a lot of information, but to make sense of it, they need imagination and creativity. For very young kids, we need to nurture their abilities of imagination and creativity by giving them space and other natural methods. Boredom fuels creativity, then why this talk about boredom being bad for kids?? Absolutely rubbish talk!! She has not done enough of her homework.

  91. FriedFrudda says:

    Question, if any student fails an sol or graduation required class, are there alternative classes or tests other than retakes so the student can still graduate on time?

  92. Shashwat Verma says:

    Want that sort of school in evey part of the world!!

  93. Layah Skinneyy says:

    Can you be my teacher😩🥺 I freaking love you🧸🎈

  94. luke r says:

    Obviously this lady has not worked in a SEI school. She is speaking from one environment.

  95. bikash shrestha says:

    ok,it si good

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