Your Name and Title:

Jim Harmon, English Teacher

School, Library, or Organization Name:

Euclid City Schools

Co-Presenter Name(s):


Country from Which You Will Present:


Language in Which You Will Present:


Target Audience (such as primary school teachers, high school administrators, students, etc.):

Middle & High School Stakeholders, including teachers, administrations, board of education members, etc.)

Short Session Description (one line):

Through Students' Eyes is a global telecollaborative literacy/social justice project that asks youth to consider the importance of education.

Full Session Description (one paragraph minimum):


As veteran English teachers in urban and inner-ring suburb settings where our students are extraordinarily diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and language proficiency, we have been troubled by the apparently limited value many of these youth see for school. In our communities and in many others around the United States, adolescents’ criticisms of our classes and school in general suggest a reasonable but deterministic perspective on school. In under-resourced communities like ours, where school failure and disengagement span generations, such a lack of a relationship to language arts instruction and school has already been normalized.

We initiated the “Through Students’ Eyes” (TSE) project to allow our students—who have extremely diverse backgrounds, few cultural connections to school, and most often live in poverty—to document via digital photographs and accompanying reflections what they believe about school and then to share their observations with students from the United States and Africa via telecollabortive tools such as NING. The goal of the project is to use these digital tools to make school relevant for students by giving them real reasons to communicate. The project utilizes photovoice, a social justice-oriented visual methodology that provides the under-represented with a platform to develop a community voice. The telecollaborative tools provide students with an opportunity to see the different challenges students in other states and countries face on a daily basis. The entire curriculum, formatted for both middle and high school students is available at no cost on the project website: The project includes sites in Cleveland and Euclid, OH; Manassas, VA; Washington, DC; Bo, Sierra Leone,  and Port au Prince, Haiti, with plans to expand in 2012-2013.  Project success has been well documented in several peer-reviewed journals, including NCTE’s English Education, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Multicultural Perspectives, Education Action Research, Technology and Teacher Education Annual, and Journal of School Leadership.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

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