Below is a visual from a cool site called Tweetping (tweetping.net) that shows all of the tweets at a given moment happening real time.
(The site is pretty neat to watch and this video is not as current as the website but hopefully you get the idea.)
I often show a video capture of this site, as to let people know that even though I am quite the optimist, I understand that at any point, in all of those tweets, there is horrible stuff being shared.
I know this and I get it.
What I really believe we need to do with our students, is not only help them find the awesome stuff, but to create it.
Students use technology and social media to…
1. empower others who have no voice
2. address societal inequality
3. promote important causes
4. learn and share their learning
5. be a more positive influence in the lives of others
And here are some great examples of kids doing this right now:
- @ThatHannahAlper (Hannah Alper) uses social media to enpower and inspire–just check out her website, Call Me Hannah to see how she does this. She is also a champion of environmental causes and just recently became a Youth Ambassador for Bystander Revolution, which is an organization taking a stand on bullying.
- @Aidan_Aird, a 15 year old student in our District. created a website, Developing Innovations, “To inspire, celebrate and promote #STEM.” Aird’s website states, “I realized there were lots of amazing kids out there working hard, creating and discovering amazing things. With them in mind, I created Developing Innovations…[which] has featured and celebrated over 65 young scientists from around the world on the website. There are so many hardworking young scientists out there that are trying to make a difference. By being featured on my website, they get the exposure they deserve and are encouraged to keep working hard. It is a place to celebrate their accomplishments and inspire other kids to follow in their footsteps.”
- Konnor Sauve created a secret Instagram account in order to brighten the day of every single one of his classmates. (shared by Alec Couros via @kbhildebrandt)
- Jeremiah is a high school junior and creator of @westhighbros, a Twitter account that tweets compliments to friends and classmates. Check out the video here. (shared by George Couros @gcouros)
- Though Kid President (@Iamkidpresident) gets a little help from Brad Montague, 10 yr-old Robby Novak definitely empowers others through his inspirational videos as well as his own story. He is also a champion for important causes. Currently, you can see him fighting child hunger by following the hashtag #hungerfreesummer or by checking out the video here.
- Joshua ( @Joshua’s Heart) is a young man passionate about inspiring kindness in youth and stopping world hunger. Here is his keynote during the EduMatch Passion Pitch event hosted by @ShellTerrell and @SarahThomas found here. More information about the great work he is doing can be found at http://joshuasheart.org/
As Jennifer states in her post, it is easy to identify these kids as “outliers”, but our focus should be on making this the norm.
It is easy to complain that there is so much bad stuff online, so why not focus on teaching our students to inundate the web with the good?