After seeing the video produced by 8th grade students from the class of Fernando Gonzalez at Burton Middle School, Efrain Tovar invited five students and their teacher to attend the Central Valley Computer Using Educators (CVCUE) conference on Saturday and give a presentation about their student led classroom. 

This was the first time in history students had been invited to give a presentation at the conference, Gonzalez said.

About 30 educators got to see how to successfully run a video production classroom while being completely student led. The students explained how to start a video production class, how to engage students with video making, how students hold themselves accountable, and how student led roles can successfully benefit the video production class. 

Eighth grade students from Burton Middle School Amerie Keovilaysane, Alexander Cervantes, Joslin Miranda, Monte Moore, and Ashley Rodriguez spoke in front of the educators and shared their experiences about developing editing skills and productive management.

All of the students said they had a good time, and some were nervous about speaking in front of a group of adults.

Their teacher, Gonzalez, in the History Department at Burton Middle School, also teaches the Video Production class. He said, “We took the five students to show that a student led classroom could be beneficial to their learning. They were amazed, the educators at CVCUE, that students could lead a whole conference, and it motivated these teachers to go back to their schools and try it.”

“I felt comfortable doing the presentation and I spoke about how we edited video in our production class,” said Moore, 13.

Each of the students spoke for about 5 minutes each, and Gonzalez was their facilitator. 

He said, “It’s going to be a mess at first,” when teachers try this, “but students will learn from their mistakes.” 

On Tuesday students of Gonzalez were steadily at work in class working on a project, while the interview was being done. 

Students leading the class can enhance a video production, where they create videos, edit them, brainstorm together, and record and produce the videos together.

Gonzalez’ history class is also led by students. 

After being asked to the conference, Rodriguez said she thought more students should get involved on campus and in the community. 

The students said it’s important to collaborate as a group and not just in the classroom.

And Gonzalez said, “Students, teachers, and everyone together. We learn together, we teach together.”


“If I went back to the conference, I’d like to suggest we incorporate more technology into the classroom so we would be available for more resources,” said Moore.

“This is a big deal! The students did an awesome job,” said Irene Ortega, Communication and Community Engagement Officer at Burton School District.

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