Extracurricular Empowerment

I had a flood of thoughts and emotions while watching this video!  I felt conflicted.  On the one hand, what Scott McLeod said makes perfect sense to me, on the other hand, the statement he made about “getting out of the way so they can be amazing” is a bit far fetched.

First, the positive.  I thought the video did a great job of highlighting the need for students to have access to technology.  We live in a digital world and the students of today are the future of tomorrow.  Cheesy I know!  But it’s true.  If we do not allow our children to explore and discover technology and its capabilities, we diminish their creativity and may inhibit the process of a great new invention.  Like Martha, our students should have the freedom to come up with ideas such as taking pictures of their school lunches and posting them on a blog.  Who would have thought such an idea would result in thousands of followers and ultimately donations to feed the less fortunate?  This would not have been possible unless Martha had a great idea and used the tools she had to advertise that idea.  This is the power of technology.

In my eyes, as long as the use of technology is for good, it is beneficial.  Use the example of the young lady in the video who takes pictures of young girls’ rooms to showcase their identity.  A lot of people may think that this is weird and may even call her a “freak,” but in reality she could be helping other young women feel accepted and loved.  She may have touched some other girls’ lives without even knowing it or waiting for a thank you.  To me this is a win-win situation!

Now the negative.  Actually, it’s not really negative, but more of a suggestion 🙂  Scott McLeod states that we live in fear and want to keep control.  He points out that students use media at home but not at school.  While I agree that media is great and has huge benefits and potential, I think that (like a lot of things) there is a time and a place to use it.  In schools, it does need to be monitored and students should only have access to media as part of the curriculum.  That being said, I do think it is the responsibility of teachers today to incorporate such technologies into their instruction.  Whether that means allowing students to create their own video game, having them blog about a particular subject (such as an experiment being performed in class), or tweet with fellow classmates, it should be a part of daily activity.  However, there should be guidelines and the teacher should be engaged.  Even five minutes a day would allow students to get their creative juices flowing and use the tools that they are familiar with in a classroom setting.  Making students feel comfortable and accepted is half the battle!


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One Response to Extracurricular Empowerment

  1. sjknight says:

    Great points. Thank you for presenting both sides…it is a complex conversation. Scott tends to direct his messages to administrators and policy makers (What he does at his ‘day job’). He feels that teachers do not have the necessary tools to integrate and monitor tech in the classroom. In the environment without support, teachers who are early adopters take a risk that hopefully results in success. Schools should partner with parents in helping student stay safe and learn to use tech for good, not evil. The more tech we use in school (while we guide and monitor) will help kids make the right choices…hopefully.

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