Interview with Kimberly Sanchez: Argument in the Digital Age

Each mission in my new book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom, shares an example of the Mission in Action by a teacher I admire. When I was writing the Mission: Debate the Issues, Don’t Diss People, I asked my younger sister, Kimberly Sanchez, to share her school’s project, The Great Debate. The Great Debate was an interdisciplinary project organized by the senior teachers at the high school. The seniors were grouped to represent different candidates in the 2016 election. They researched the issues, fact checked, created raps for the candidates, analyzed statistics, and debated with each other. One student in the group was designated as the spokesperson who acted as one of the actual 2016 presidential candidates. They used their evidence from the research to debate the issues and rebuttal. This was a powerful project for the students who are new voters. Learn more about the project in our conversation below.

Kimberly Sanchez is an ESL / SIFE teacher at The International High School at Lafayette in New York, a small high school exclusively for recently arrived English Language Learners. Students come from over 50 different countries and speak 26 different languages.

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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

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