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Student How-To Guides

HOW-TO… Plan a student showcase night where students show teachers
their ideas for uses of technology for school use.

You use technology for communication, for problem solving, for research, and for fun. Maybe you've been using technology for these things since before you could read and write. One thing is for certain: You aren't sure that the adults at your school understand all the ways technology could be used for learning and school activities.

Planning a student showcase night is one way to share what you know with your school community. At the student showcase you can set up stations where different groups of students show-off

  • how students use Instant Messenger to solve homework problems together
  • how students use calendars and schedules to keep track of assignments
  • how students use their cell-phones to text-message appropriate homework help
  • how students learn useful skills from playing certain online games
  • and so on

Problem and Proposal
What is your problem? What is your proposal?

Problem: There are things I wish teachers knew about how I use technology.
Proposal: Plan a student showcase night where students show teachers their ideas for uses of technology for school use.

Print out this worksheet to collect your ideas and your research for your action proposal.



What reasons support your goal? Some examples might include:

  • Having students share their ideas in an open forum gives adults and students opportunities to explore and ask questions.
  • A student showcase night helps bridge the communication divide, moving towards a place of mutual understanding.
  • Having students share their common processes for technology use may give teachers new ideas about using technology in the classroom.
  • Having students share their common processes for technology use may give administrators new ideas for technology-related decision-making.

What is your school's technology plan? Can you show how your idea supports your school or district’s plan for technology?

Read about school technology plans.


Find examples: How have other schools approached this problem? Researching other school’s successes can give you new ideas and help you refine your own ideas.

For this proposal, your two biggest questions are going to be (1) "How can we get school support for a student showcase night?" and (2) "What exactly do we want to show case?"

See if you can find ideas from reading about other schools that have made it work.

Find news articles and other research to learn how other schools have approached this same problem.

Browse the SVRC Success Stories for advice from the student community.

Collect data: What data can you collect from your own student community to support your idea? If possible, organize a campaign to find out your classmates' interest in participating in a student show case event. You might start by setting up a table in the cafeteria or posting flyers around school with an email address for reaching you.

Some questions that may spark interest in your showcase night may include:

  • Do you have new ideas about ways that technology can be used to the fullest at our school?
  • Would you like to be involved in future decisions about how technology is used at our school?
  • Would you like to help share your ideas about technology use with our school community?

Share some information with students about the event you are interested in planning. Ask students to sign up if they're interested in helping plan the event or organizing to showcase some technology.

What issues do you need to consider when planning this event?

Read about issues to consider when suggesting change.


Details of your proposal

What is your proposal? Now that you’ve identified your goals and completed your research, write a summary of your proposal. Write up a brief outline that describes how your student showcase will be organized. Below are a few possible scenarios for your structuring your event:

  • Set up five stations in the computer lab. Each station is run by a pair of students who will be showcasing how they use technology for communication, problem solving, etc. Each group will have a prepared hand-out. Guests can walk around and ask questions.
  • Set up one display computer with chairs for guests. Have each pair of student volunteers present their technology for 5 minutes. They can prepare a hand-out as well and take questions at the end.
  • Set up a virtual showcase by creating a website, video, or other multimedia presentation to share information.

When students volunteer to help present at your showcase, try to collect a variety of ideas. Ask questions such as: What sort of technology use would you want to share with others at the school? Why?



Think about groups and individuals who would be willing to support your idea. Some examples may include individual teachers, student clubs, your school’s PTA, the student government, service clubs, and local business groups. Try to think of a group that would have an interest in volunteering some time to help you organize or support your event.

Share your research and your proposal and see if these groups are willing to support you as a volunteer, a mentor, or even just adding their word of support to your proposal.

7. Make a presentation

A successful presentation summarizes your proposal, your rationale, and your research. This is what you are going to use to convince the decision-makers to support you.

Review the worksheet of what should be in your action proposal.
8. Set up a meeting
Write a letter, make a phone call, or send an email to set up a meeting with decision-makers to present your idea. Your letter should include an introduction of your proposal and a polite request for a time when you can share your idea. Explain that you have done research and have a proposal to share with them regarding a student technology showcase.

Who makes decisions about school events?

Read a who’s who of school decision makers.
8. Present Your Action Proposal: This is your chance show what you know. Remember, you want to be convincing and likeable. If you’ve followed the steps in this guide, you are prepared with good research and support for your ideas. Your job now is to present your proposal and gain support from decision-makers.

Have you had success with being involved in planning a student technology showcase? Please submit your Success Story or email any feedback about this module to You are a star!

What YOU Said:

(Student Quotes from NetDay's 2004 Speak Up Day survey)

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