Why public presentations of learning?

Increase student engagement

by making learning public

Every 26 seconds, a student drops out of high school in the United States. That’s over 1.2 million students each year. And for every student who drops out of school, hundreds more are disengaged. Even students who do well in school report feeling discouraged about their future and disengaged, whether they attend an urban, rural or suburban school. In fact, by the time students reach their junior year in high school, only 32% report feeling engaged.

 And yet, we know that all schools can be places of hope and inspiration where students envision new possibilities for themselves and pursue deeper learning with purpose and passion. 

When students share their learning with an authentic audience we provide them with an opportunity to share their story, reflect on their growth, and engage in real dialogue with others about their learning and their futures

We ensure that they are known. We communicate that their work has value. We bring together schools and communities.

Whether you are a teacher or a school, district, or state leader, once you commit, you will receive a handy toolkit with everything you need to help students share their learning. You’ll also be connected with thousands of educators across the country who are working – like you – to make student learning visible in their schools and communities.

Whichever practice you choose, good sharing involves these core elements:

  • Quality Work:  Are students proud of the work, and is the work worthy of pride? Let’s create opportunities for students to reflect on their learning, grounded in evidence/artifacts that demonstrate deeper learning and engagement.
  • Authentic Audience:  Are students presenting their work and learning to an audience beyond the classroom (i.e. not just the teacher)? If they are, they will want it to be good.
  • Equity:  Are all students being provided the opportunity to showcase their work and critically reflect on their learning, both the successes and areas for growth? Every student deserves the chance to celebrate, reflect, plot a course forward, and ask for the support they need.
  • Dialogue:  Are students engaged in a reciprocal exchange of ideas with adults and peers? Sure, we want students to learn presentation skills, but we also want to provide them with opportunities to think on their feet and respond to questions and ideas in the moment.

Exhibitions of Learning

Whether it is getting student work on the walls, showcasing a class project, or hosting a whole-school exhibition with community members and experts, celebrate students’ work and learning by making it visible.

Student-Led Conferences

Flip traditional parent-teacher conferences on their head and put students in charge of the discussion.

Presentations of Learning

Have students present their learning, grounded in artifacts/evidence from their own work, to a panel of peers and adults who can offer feedback and support for next steps.


1.  Sign up.

Complete the form below to to join a community of educators liberating students to produce meaningful work for an authentic audience. 

2. Do it.

Download one of our toolkits and have your students publicly share their learning via student-led conferences, exhibitions of student work, or presentations of learning.

3.  Share your story.

Post an image or video on social media using the #shareyourlearning hashtag or upload directly to our site under the Community tab. Let us know what you did, what worked, and what you would do differently, so we can all learn from your experience.


Sign Up Now

Become part of a national movement to transform schools into places where students can communicate, collaborate and contribute. Communicate with the SYL Team and receive emails that are tailored to your needs.