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Posts Tagged ‘voice’

I’m reading a few different books simultaneously and two of them just converged. Both of the books are important on their own and have a lot to teach us. Both books are timely and relevant.

social LEADiaFirst, I’ve been reading Jennifer Casa-Todd’s Social LEADia with a small group of educators in my district. I’ve been inspired by this book for a while. I’m passionate about shifting the conversation around digital citizenship to digital leadership and Casa-Todd’s book outlines the steps for doing just that. So much of what we’ve focused upon in the past has been via scare tactics when teaching or introducing digital citizenship to adults and students. It’s time to focus on the positive ways we can use digital tools and social media to bring about change.

Common Sense Education is doing just that as they release updated digital citizenship lessons, so far for grades 3-8 with more coming.

Social LEADia provides clear examples of students who have raised their voices and brought about change in a variety of ways, whether for their schools, communities, or globally. The book also outlines how schools can start making the shift to share our stories, our passions, and our voices. And most importantly, those of our students.

say somethingThe other book I’ve read recently is Say Something, the newest amazing book by Peter H. Reynolds. This book is the follow-up to The Word Collector, which helped our students see the power of words and vocabulary in a positive light. In Say Something, Reynolds empowers students to use their voices, in a wide variety of ways, to speak up. Say something to help others know how you feel. Say something with your actions. It illustrates how their voices matter. One of my favorite pages says, “Keep saying it… and you may be surprised to find the whole world listening.” The wonderful illustration on that page features many, many birds. Thanks, Peter!

Digital tools provide the mechanism through which we can say something and become digital leaders. Both books strike a chord with me. Both books encourage all of us to use our voices to bring about change. How can we shift the thinking and empower our students? How do we encourage them to speak up and understand that their words and actions matter, and that THEY matter?

It starts with us, the educators. YOU can start by reading these books.

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Post 19 in the TeachThought 30-Day Blogging ChallengeName three powerful tools/strategies students can use to reflect on their learning, then discuss closely the one you use most often.


 

 

reflectionStudent reflection is integral in the learning process. It helps them dig into the ‘why’ of learning. It helps them connect learning to other aspects of their lives. Reflecting on their learning using digital tools affords students with the opportunity to share to a larger audience, gives them all a voice, and recognizes their contributions.

Blogging: Regardless of the platform (our teachers are using Kidblog and Weebly), blogging is a fabulous tool. I like how it’s not content-specific. It’s not just a writing tool. Students can blog about any aspect of the curriculum, any portion of their day, and use it for reflection. The ability to comment and provide feedback for one another is critical to the process. Our schools set a goal a few years ago that I wrote about here. The goal was: Using technology as a learning tool, students will share and communicate learning with others within and beyond their classroom walls. Many teachers found blogging to be an ideal tool to support these efforts.

Exit Cards: I’d suggest Padlet as a tool to use for exit cards. It provides quick and instant feedback in a nice, visual manner. Teachers and students have used Padlet in a variety of ways, not only for feedback and reflection.

Backchannels: We have had a number of teachers at various grade levels use TodaysMeet for backchanneling. (There are other tools for this as well.) It helps those who often wouldn’t participate feel comfortable doing so and expressing themselves safely. They reflect, ask questions, voice their opinion, or share their perspective.

 

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