Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach opened the ULearn conference with an inspirational presentation with examples of students using blogs to make a difference.
Laura is a young girl who lost her grandfather, she decided in his memory to make a difference to the world. She tells her story at her blog http://twentyfivedays.wordpress.com.
At a conference Laura was asked a question.
"Laura can you tell us how do you come up with your ideas of who to help."
She replied "I ask my readers."
Laura has a voice. She knows her opinions are valued. She feels empowered to make a difference and contribute. Do we allow this in our classrooms? I use the word 'allow' pointedly. Do our students get to use their voices?
It makes me think of the joke of the young girl spending her first week at school:
"Dad, I don't think I'll go to school anymore there really isn't any point"
"Why is that?"
"Well I can't read and I can't write ... And they won't let me talk."
21st century technologies allow us to have voices, to voice our opinion, to make a difference. These technologies are available for our students, our children. We must let students have their voices and we must make sure they know how to use these voices in an ethical manner and in a safe way.
That is our job as educators.
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