Empower students to model, inspire, and facilitate change through technology at the local school level.
Increase Administrator Capacity by creating student leaders that help facilitate ongoing technology initiatives.
Create positive agents for change while learning important STEM, leadership, and collaboration skills.
Create projects that inform, build excitement for, and support technology learning initiatives
Every school is unique and has its own challenges when it comes to changing education. SLED is a student organization focused on positioning students to go out and solve educational problems facing their school. SLED students’ primary objective is to develop and implement project ideas that create a positive change in education.
“SLED was born out of a need for student representation in the education system. Students are the largest stakeholders in education, but rarely have a platform for their voice to be heard. We wanted to change that” (Travis Allen). Founded by iSchool Initiative, SLED is an organization dedicated to empowering students to have a voice in education. We believe that formal education seems to lose its value when it’s focused on testing and basic memorization. Education is so much more.
Our goal is to unite students in order to demand change in the way we teach and learn, and inspire leadership from students in education. We believe that education will not change unless it comes from the students themselves. If we are going to decide the fate of our young learners, they should have a voice in that matter. “The biggest insult you can give young people is to tell them they are the leaders of tomorrow, because you imply they lack the ability to lead today!” -Travis Allen
WHO IS INVOLVED
SLED Advocates (Students)
The program requires at least 12 students from each school that you would like to participate. The program can be implemented at grade levels 3rd - 12th. We look for students who can role model the SLED Standards:
I am responsible for my own learning
I am transparent with who I am both online and IRL
I use technology as a productive tool
I will work hard, fail a lot, but learn more
I am today’s leader, not tomorrow’s
While these are some of the traits we want to see, we also encourage students who want to develop these skills or students who may be currently struggling with school or authority.
SLED Advisors (Educators)
To ensure lasting impact, SLED requires a local teacher or administrator take on the role of the advisor. Advisors act to continue supporting the students in their projects for the entire school year. These advisors are encouraged to organize team meetings and organize opportunities to showcase their work.
Oversee and maintain growth of projects - Communication between students - Provide direction and counsel for project leaders - Facilitate team meetings - Facilitate online SLED curriculum
For a more detailed look at advisor responsibilities, take a look at ourAdvisor Briefing
SLED Mentors (Our Team)
Each program involves Mentors from the SLED Team. These facilitators will be readily available to support the launch of your chapter, provide guidance on student projects, and deliver and face to face training.
Phase 1 - Vision Development
An initial set-up call is scheduled to assist you in establishing your team and to set the goals and vision for the group. This call includes the following:
Brainstorming the desired outcomes of the program
Select your starting Advisor Led Project - based on your school’s needs
Project Database - Assistance in setting up your SLED Project Platform
SLED Online Curriculum - introduction to online courses to use throughout the year with students.
Goal: In order for students to assist their school with technology integration it is key that they understand the core issues or challenges that the school is facing. The goal is to help develop a game plan for your school’s team.
Timeline: This process begins as soon as a school has registered for the program. A SLED Team member will contact the school in order to organize the initial call.
Phase 2 - Student and Advisor Selection
Description: It is recommended to have students apply for the program. SLED holds fairly loose guidelines when it comes to what type of students would be successful in the program. For application guidelines refer to the SLED Bylaws.
Goal: The goal of this phase is to give students who are passionate about technology and education the opportunity to apply to be part of the program. We recommend 12 to 15 students per school to start and 1 to 2 advisors.
Timeline: This process usually takes 2-3 weeks in total. 2 weeks for students to apply. A week for reviewing, interviewing, and accepting the students.
Phase 3 - Three Day Training
Description: iSchool Initiative will provide trainers to put on our three day training program. The program will focus on preparing students to create their projects, support teachers and administrators, and become leaders in their school.
Goal: After the training, each school should have 2 to 3 project ideas created by students. They will begin working on these projects throughout the year.
Timeline: This experience should be done over 3 consecutive days. We will invite administrators to come in on day two and share challenges your school currently faces with the students. It is recommended that the advisor(s) attend all three days, or at least the third day.
Phase 4 - Ongoing Support
Description: This part of the program is designed to ensure the alignment of your team with the Nation-wide SLED culture. Each piece is designed to empower clubs with resources and tools to apply to their projects.
SLED Online - Our online curriculum that will continue the training and support of creating student leaders
Project Platform - Our system for housing your current active team projects, as well as the ability to browse and find other project ideas
Annual Competitions - Teams show off their projects while competing for additional project funding
Communication - Continuous check ins regarding team sustainability and competition preparation
Goal: Providing support for the SLED Advocates to create impactful projects and to continue staying motivated throughout the process.
Timeline: Emails are on monthly intervals. For the competition, see the next section.
Description: Show SLED what you can do! Students across the US compete virtually in our annual contest for scholarships and prizes by submitting videos of their community and district projects. This is your chance to showcase what your teams have accomplished this year and get rewarded for the impact you've made.
Goal: To motivate students to continue working on their projects over the semester and give them a platform to share their success.
Timeline: Our Annual Competition submission window is typically between the end of January and beginning of April. Finalists and winners will be decided upon in May.
Scope of work provided:
Online Curriculum - School will gain access to SLED Online Powered by GenYes content and curriculum. The curriculum focuses on developing students into technology leaders. Course credit can be offered.
Program Material - School advisors will be given access to SLED workshop material to assist launching their program and developing Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity skills.
Virtual Onboarding - Our team will work with your advisor to start your SLED chapter. This may include marketing the program, registering students, identifying school needs, and launching projects.
Face-to-face Training - SLED has both a beginner and an advanced course to train a select group of students from your school. By the end of this training, students will be well prepared to create their projects and have developed several starting projects.
Parent Night - Involving parents is key to success of any student centered initiative. With that in mind iSi will help the program advisor schedule, market, and facilitate a parent night to educate parents about what is going on in their student's school.
Advisor-led Projects - SLED has five different school wide projects to select from. These projects will be led by the teacher advisor but implemented by the students.
Student-led Projects - Our team will train and equip your SLED students to develop projects that focus on deep impact in the school community.
Regional Conference - Your SLED chapter is invited to any of our regional conferences. During our regional conferences students and advisors will have access to exclusive professional development and chapter development meetings with the founders of SLED.
Competition - SLED Chapters compete to win prizes and scholarships. Teams will attend workshops, present their impact , and collaborate with other teams.
Student Showcase - SLED will assist the program advisor in putting on a student showcase event to help bring awareness to your program's impact.
We hear about failure. We are told everybody does it. We all know it doesn't feel good.
Experiencing failure in a group of supportive people with the same mission in mind and continuing on through the messes, feeling really uncomfortable, until achievement is reached...well that is just the best bonding experience ever.
Your age, grade, gender, race...none of that matters...the commitment to finding the solution and sticking with it until you do...or until you redefine the problem...that creates excitement...that drives the mission...that creates the desire to always be looking for a better solution...that creates a life long learner.
Westlake High School
This training could also be very beneficial to our Business/Computer classes as it deal with pitching ideas to an audience.
Creekside High School
This was one of the most impact learning sessions I've witnessed. Our students loved every moment of the experience. Their only complaint was that they wanted more days. I wish every student in our school had an opportunity to have this experience. It also served to build a bridge to unify students across schools. Students were able to learn and grow from other students.
Creekside High School
I do not have enough positive words for the iSchool team! The skills our students gained during this three day training are invaluable in their journey to being leaders of change in our school. The iSchool team was very easy to work with and their energy was infectious.
East Grand School District
The iSchool Initiative has empowered my students to make achievable changes in our school. It has given them skills to define problems and overcome challenges. This program had given them life long problem solving tools.
White Settlement ISD
I was able to participate in both the teacher and the student advocate programs. The iSchool initiative deals with the heart of the issues our education system is facing today. It is essentially bringing people together to solve real issues. I'm optimistic about what our students will accomplish in the future. I am proud to be part of a district that supports their students and staff.
Independence High School
This program really encouraged our kids to break out of their shells and work together with other students they may not have collaborated with previously. They gained amazing knowledge for interacting with diverse populations as well as wonderful tools to give stellar presentations.
Northwestern Middle School
Fantastic program! The kids are so excited to get their program going.
Roswell High School
It was such a pleasure to have the iSchool team work with our students. They completely handled every detail and made everything very easy for us. Our students found a lot of value in the things they learned and really felt like they were learning skills that would be beneficial to them for many years to come.
Tri-Cities High School
I believe the students had the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone in determining how to be student leaders of change.
Fayette County Public Schools
The ISchool team provided a forever changing opportunity for the students. The students were changed from the very first moments. The were equipped, prepared and empowered to be a 21st Century learner and leader. They grew in skill and confidence and were given a voice. Moments like these will impact our students forever and the lives of those that witnessed the transformation.
Fayette County Public Schools
What an amazing three days! The iSchool team was well prepared, made the event fun for the kids, and kept everything on track and focused.
Banneker High School
This program is one that is truly exceptional that allows students to find themselves, build and grow in their leadership traits and characteristics to become innovative outstanding, productive stewards of their community.
Banneker High School
This was an extraordinary experience for my students to gain valuable leadership skills and characteristics, while achieving the success of putting a plan in action to help build our school's pride.
It was amazing to see how the students were working so well together. They seemed to genuinely care about the topics they chose.
Perry Township Schools
This program is powerful. Watching students work on problems that affect them, and coming up with real solutions and professionally presenting them to stakeholders is a big deal- for students and adults alike. I would recommend this program to any and every school who want to put students in the position to lead.
Perry Township Schools
As a student council advisor, I can see how the skills, engagement, and enthusiasm that my students left with after just three short days of intensive training will benefit both the students and our school moving forward into the next school year. I am excited to see my students refine and revise and see their projects come to life as solutions in our school. I"m also looking forward to my students showing more student leaders how to use this process to improve our school and community.
Madison County Schools
The iSchool trainers are extremely energetic and inspiring. After three days, the students have built strong relationships with the iSchool team as they help students develop projects that will transform their school.
Chantel Mebane - Administrator of Instructional Support Services, Norris School District, CA
Christopher Carrubba - Superintendent, Belvidere and Harmony School Districts; NJ
Farah Jetha - IT Project Manager, Fulton County Schools; GA