Around 9am this morning I tweeted an image of work that my grade 11 IBDP Language and Literature students constructed.  Students worked on a project I called ‘Astounding Annotations,’ where they take an extract from Margaret Atwood‘s The Handmaid’s Tale

and they break the language down, look into motifs, themes, etc.  By noon, Margaret Atwood herself retweeted the image.

If that isn’t an authentic ‘digital footprint’ learning moment, I don’t know what is.

Good work attracts attention.  Great work warrants attention.

I have often heard teachers tell their students to post as if their grandmother were reading, so don’t say anything too offensive.  This is misguided.  We should be telling our students to post as if their ultimate mentor were reading.  Because they might be.

The online world is a great big little place.


Photo Credit: Helga Weber via Compfight cc

Engagement online and offline blends together.  This isn’t news.

What if we started to see our students as trailblazers?  What if we assumed that when given the chance, they would put their best selves forward?

The English teacher in me worries about what this author refers to as ‘The Danger of A Single Story’

Too often we tell a single story about the online teenager: dangerous, careless, insulting, uninformed.  That myth needs to stop.

I have worked with students who have been inspired trailblazers.  Take Elena Lie

a phenomenal student who worked together with Jane Ross

on an amazing iBook: Green and Guiltless

Her’s is the story we want to be putting a spot light on.

Published by TriciaGpers

I blog about all things Global Perspectives!

5 replies on “Trailblazing”

  1. Hi Tricia,

    How wonderful! As a Literature Major myself who taught Margaret Atwood a few years ago, I can imagine how thrilled you and your students must be.

    Chimamanda Adichie makes a powerful case about the dangers of a single story, and you’re right when you say it is time we rethink our perception of teenagers online.

    I’ll be sharing your experience with my IBDP History and TOK classes – as an inspiration for trailblazing!

    Thanks for posting.


  2. Tricia,

    Getting retweeted by Margaret Atwood is one of the coolest things I can imagine for a Lit teacher. You should be so proud. You also should recognize that you will now be a legend that we all tell other teachers about. I know that I will use this example when I next train or try to convince teachers to use twitter. Thanks for being such a fantastic inspiration!


  3. Tricia,
    That is powerful and very cool. Its a very humbling and insightful moment about the unseen audience we all have on the internet.
    Keep blazing!

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