Challenge Their Perspectives

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 11.29.09 PM

Goal 28: Challenge Their Perspectives of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.” ~ Jacob Bronowski

This year’s 30 Goals Challenge theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal focuses on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments. Join our our 30 Goals Facebook community to vote on goals and receive support.

My Reflection

Our students were born in a digital age, which means they digest tons of information daily. The problem is that many don’t analyze or evaluate this information, which influences their perceptions. Our students tend to live in a microcosm. Their mental outlook and understanding of the world is shaped by their limited experience with the culture, traditions, and communication they are exposed to in schools, their community, and through media. Teachers have the important role of challenging students’ perspectives by getting them to experience an event through various lenses.


The communities they join in the virtual world can help them interact with other cultures and societies. We have the opportunity to guide them and help them reflect on their virtual interactions and challenge their limited perspectives. The first step to participating in the digital world is creating an avatar, a graphical representation of ourselves. This is a way to create membership, start our digital footprint, and begin a journey with a digital community. Some of us will use real-life images of ourselves, while others feel more comfortable posting cartoon-like images, our pets, or an icon. In different online communities, we may choose different avatars that match that community.

We can get our students to reflect on their digital identities through their avatars. One health teacher, for example, had teenagers reflect on how they manipulated the physical appearance of their avatars and made them skinnier, with different hair color, and so forth (Boss, 2009). Some teachers have had their students experience a virtual world  as different avatars. Students, for example, will switch genders, change their skin color, or make themselves obese/tall/short and write about their experiences.

For this goal:

Short-term goal– For at least one class, get your students to consider an event through various point-of-views. Ideas may include experiencing the holidays through other cultures or from various economic standpoints.

Long-term goal– Implement a project or activity in which students are forced to view an issue from various point-of-views.


Try any of these resources to challenge your students’ perspectives:


Introduce your students to different point-of-views surrounding an event.

Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, or adding a comment below! All goals are organized in this 30 Goals Livebinder.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Please fill out this Google Form if you reflected on at least 1 goal so you will be listed in a 30 Goals blog list and on a 30 Goals Twitter list.

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *