I recently watched the above video titled Extracurricular Empowerment for my computers and technology in the classroom course. This video is a TED talk which discusses the various successes of children and teens utilizing the internet, social media, and tools such as blogging to express themselves and their interests.
The speaker, Scott McLeod, touches on how these children’s successes have not only allowed for their independent financial and personal successes, but have fostered creative thinking, discipline, self-empowerment, enthusiasm, and problem solving skills. McLeod mentions how we should think about taking our students’ extracurricular activities involving technology and social media into the school setting – and I completely agree.
If students are interested, inspired, and even empowered by their use of technology and social media, then it would be foolish not to consider incorporating these tools into our classroom settings. In my opinion, the problem is not figuring out whether we should or should not involve technology in the classroom – the real problem is figuring out how to incorporate these methods into a meaningful and educational plan of action.
Of course, the options available in certain districts and/or grade levels will vary significantly. Not every single project can be a creative blog or means of expressing oneself through personal social media accounts. However, teachers can certainly take a hard look at the fact that their students are sincerely interested in these technological mediums and figure out a way to incorporate them in the over-arching structure of their classrooms. Students would not only benefit from the creative outlet, but have the potential of gaining meaningful experience with computers and technology which could help them in their future lives and careers!