We are what we share. And what we read. And what we do after we share what we read. This goes for adults in the world of course, but in an age where our youth are being born with devices in their faces (and eventually their hands) this goes for them too. If we are in fear of using and/or outright blocking social media and personal devices in our schools how in the world do we expect our youth to share quality resources, important content, and care enough to post things that matter to them locally and globally if they aren’t getting real practice in the place they are 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 187 days a year? My morning started with this post from Seth Godin’s Blog.
As I read, I couldn’t help but think about a project my friend Daniel and I and 25 young people worked on 2 summers ago called Youth Converts Culture. We learned a lot about each other, from each other and with each other. We discovered content and created content and spent a lot of time sharing it face to face and online because it mattered deeply to us. We wrote a manifesto that will forever live online and is still extremely relevant today. We made mistakes along the way but every individual, adults included, grew into more developed citizens living out loud in the physical and digital world. I am proud of what we shared that summer and confident the actions I take daily reflect those choices to post.
Godin argues for us to not just share what care about, but also to do something about it after we’ve posted. All I’m asking for is the space for students to be able to do the same. If you’re doing this with students in your classrooms please create a hashtag, engage with an authentic audience, trust your students to share things in class and online that they care about and want to do something about. Provide the space and support in life and online and see what happens. We live in a connected world, lets start preparing and supporting connected learners as connected educators. They might just surprise you and share more about social justice and positive change than selfies.