Watching the events unfold in the last few weeks with Egypt and trying to help my 8th graders understand this history-making event was incredible! It hit me on many levels and, of course, Twitter helped me with links, videos, etc. to use in class. But what really was an ah-ha moment was the fact that as I tried to help my students understand the “social revolution” piece of the history, they didn’t quite get that or see it. It struck me because that while I knew on an intellectual level that my students are 21st century kids and are growing up with technology, they are as immersed in this as I was in the late 60’s with the Martin Luther King civil rights and social unrest here in the U.S. The other amazing piece of this was that I could have a conversation on Twitter to solidify some thoughts. I thought it was just me who thought it strange that the kids were not impressed that the Egypt revolution was bolstered by social media. Thanks to my #sschat educators, I was able to get some thoughts together.
What does this mean for teaching? For me it means that education MUST become what the kids live. They cannot keep coming to school to “power down.” When they walk into my building they have to turn off all devices – the very things that are an integral part of who they are. It is not just music or phones; it is connection, completion, just… them.
When we will have our own revolution for education? What if students were to really understand the power of what it would mean for them to be able to learn the way they want? What if we really teach the way they learn? What if we really want to know how best students learn? What if we… shhh, take away standardized testing?! I believe that we could unleash the power of the next generation of leaders in this country. How can we have a revolution? I am amazed by the amazing educators who have unbelievable ideas and I want a true revolution… reform isn’t enough. Time is of the essence! Who’s with me? Maybe it’s time to get students involved in the revolution. I think I will invite some of mine to the next school board meeting and take them to the office of the superintendent.