Are we stoking the Digital Campfires?
Humans are naturally social animals. Storytelling is one of the oldest arts known to man. It has been happening since cave men and women were drawing on walls. Humans are, therfore, natural storytellers. The digital campfire, isn’t this a great analogy for the platfoms used today to tell stories?
Children today have many available audiences to tell a story. They can tell friends and family face to face (like generations before them) but with the help of technology children have the opportunity to share their story with a wider global audience. Children can use social media and tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr or Instagram as their platforms to tell their stories. The world is their oyster!
Are children using social media to tell a story worth listening to?
So children are great at messing around and geeking out however we must model how to use technology so that children can reach their full potential. This is how children are going to be able to tell their story to the world via social media.
But who is to blame?
Us, the educators. We are not consistently modelling how to tap into the power of social media to tell a story. We are not using social media so that children can tell stories. Social Media is not entrenched in school life and so we are missing the opportunities that social media are giving us. After all technology and specifically social media are allowing us to : –
- Educate with the world in mind
- Share our desire to know more
- Show their are several perspectives
- Know the meaning of being a true global citizen
So what am I doing?
I have started to blog for the first time in my life. Writing these weekly posts has really helped me to reflect on the teaching and learning in my classroom. What do the children need to know? How am I getting them to show their learning? Am I modelling the use of technology consistently in my classroom? I ask my students to be reflective so I must model that and be reflective myself ( a blog is a tool for that). I ask my students to create content for other people, to collaborate and communicate with others via technology. I am doing this via my COETAIL site and via my twitter PLN. I am allowing time to read other people’s blogs, read articles, make comments on other blogs.
So what do I need to allow the children to do?
The same as what I am doing. I need to model how to use social media, how to write a blog post, how to make a comment that probes deeper, how to ask questions, how to interact with others, how to see the bigger picture. To do this I am making:-
- time for technology modelling – how to write a blog post, how to make a comment, using my PLN
- time in my classroom so that children can have opportunities to mess around with technology
- blogging writing time as literacy centres
- blogging reading time as literacy centres
- time to find out and begin the journey on the Out of Eden Learn project
- time to connect with other children in other class’s and other schools from around the world
- time to take part in global days ( e.g. dot day)
I know I have to do more but it is a start…
There are other projects that are beginning to stoke the digital campfire. They are changing the way that social media can be used to tell meaningful authentic stories that can bring about real change and focus on big ideas. These stories and social media projects are the way that us, the educators, need to start using it in the classroom to make a change.
Projects such as : –
The digital campfire idea came from watching this wonderful, powerful video via gng.org.
If we do this then we will have stoked the campfire enabling children to tell their story to a authentic global audience bringing about change in the world. Are you stoking your digital campfire?