Our expectations set the tone. If we expect cyber-bullying, if we anticipate prank hacks, if all we talk about are the pitfalls of our screen-clad world that is exactly what we will get.
Instead, if we think beyond doom and gloom, if we anticipate excellence, we might awaken a little inspiration.
I saw this first hand while working with Sheldon Bradshaw and Jane Ross. Sheldon and Jane both saw beyond the what if’s and yeah but’s.
I was lucky to have worked in a 1:1 blogging environment. We pushed students to thinking bigger in terms of online authoring and started an online eBookstore.
We have to stop thinking in terms of ’empowering’ authorship and start thinking in terms of building the platforms to showcase success. Students already are artists. Students already have things to say. It is our job to help them find their voice, and you cannot find your voice without also looking for ears.
Blog Action Day is another way to galvanize student authors.
Blog action Day is a wonderful tie-in to GIN (Global Issues Network) which depends on student leadership and student collaborative service learning efforts:
What happens when we encourage students to work with one another for change? They help us communicate higher expectations. Take a look at this IBDP learner’s CAS project, Riveria English:
Look at the ways her blog has reflected her leadership experiences by clicking here.
This amazing young woman is an example–thankfully she is sharing via Twitter, WordPress, and Youtube. Examples have exponential power through social media.
Examples like these are what educators need to expect. Stop short-changing students and suggesting that they won’t use social media for learning. Teachers need to model their use of PLN’s. How aware are students of our own ambitions to learn more together? If we aren’t embracing the opportunities tech facilitates in promoting life long learning, we need to expect more from ourselves.
Key Questions to ask of your school:
1) How does your school work to network students?
2) Where in your school’s online world can we see a space to develop as thinkers and inquirers?
3) How can students find opportunities to connect with positive connected projects?
4) How are teachers mentoring connected learning?
5) When are you making time for students to change expectations?
Thanks so much for sharing your insights, experiences and these videos. It is always so inspiring when evidence of high levels of student engagement is clearly visible in the learning experiences facilitated by teachers.
I completely relate to your ‘expect more’ philosophy. Unfortunately, I think that sometimes the lack of belief in a student and their abilities is what has hindered them most. Parents and teachers (and other key role models) have such a responsibility to ensure that we empower students to take ownership of their learning, and provide sufficient challenge and motivation for them to pursue their own goals. The use of technology as a tool to facilitate this is so exciting. It’s so encouraging to see young people setting the tone for their community and communicating in such an open, caring and inclusive manner. 🙂