How to Inspire the Next World Changers

“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” – Rita Pierson

Young people worldwide are already leading movements and causes to end hunger, find solutions for climate change, and tackle other world problems. They are using social media and technology to spread the word and gather momentum. However, these movements are mostly outside of school. To inspire students to be the next world changers means we need to allow them at least one project or opportunity to change the world in our classes. This could be a global collaboration project, tackling one of the global goals, joining a challenge or contest, or a problem-based project. This way students will be given the opportunity to tackle world issues with their ideas and innovation and their teachers can facilitate that journey. This was the topic of my recent 10 minute keynote for the ELT Day for Puerto Rico conference, entitled, How to Inspire the Next World Changers.  Find the slides and resources below. Don’t forget to donate here to help those who recently lost their homes in Puerto Rico.

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Tips and Resources!

  • Changing the world isn’t easy! How do we equip students for the journey?
    • Champion student ideas
    • Involve students in the process of innovation
    • Give them opportunities to solve problems they care about
    • Spend time investigating problems
    • Get them brainstorming with design challenges
    • Teach resilience
    • Connect them with role models, guest experts and mentors
    • Include student voice and choice
    • Facilitate the documentation of ideas and innovations (digital portfolios, research logs and journaling)
    • Participate in global collaboration projects like the Global Goals!
  • Where to find activities, projects and lessons:
    • The Science Demo Guy’s website has free STEM and Engineering Design Process posters and experiments to download and print.
    • NASA has amazing resources for educators, including free projects, lesson plans, videos, and interactives! Students can join the competitions for free when you set up a free Future Engineers account for them.
    • Sign up for a free Mystery Science membership and receive access to tons of awesome standard aligned lesson plans and projects.
    • Find STEM resources and projects with Google templates free to edit and use from the school I teach at here.
  • Click here  to make a copy of the Research Choice Menu template I created with recommended research websites for K-12. Edit as you like and discover kid-friendly search engines in my post, Top Research Websites, Search Engines, and a Research Choice Menu for K-12 Students.
  • Citizen science is defined by Oxford Dictionary as scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions.

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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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