Empowerment of Technology

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I believe the words above describe children and teens in the US. Scott McLeod uses the words “curious, confident, disciplined, self-directed, enthusiastic, passionate, critical thinkers, and problem-solvers” to describe our country’s kids, especially when it comes to them learning with technology.

The news world loves to share the negative, scandalous stories to attract readers and viewers. Headlines about teens’ technology and Internet use tend to be about problems such as “sexting” or “cyberbullying.” Scott McLeod gives a short TED Talk informing listeners about how many teens are positively using technology, the Internet, and social media in particular. He shares some examples of real teens using social media for good.

He shares about a girl, Martha, who blogs about her school lunches and gained so much popularity that the school board tried to make her stop taking pictures of her lunches. So many people reacted that the school board had to allow Martha to continue taking pictures. It forced them to take a good look at what food they were serving and make some positive changes. With her popularity, she was able to raise $200,000 to help a kitchen in Malawi, Africa to feed the needy there. McLeod shares about a teenage boy who created an app and sold it to Yahoo for 30 million dollars at age 17. He shares about a group of teens on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation who created response videos to show that they’re more than what the ABC special portrayed about their lives. They were able to correct what ABC depicted and show that they’re about passion, love, family, self-respect, creativity, and so much more than the drugs and crime that ABC portrayed. People were then able to see what those teens are really about. McLean shares some other stories about other teens, and even young children, who have used the Internet as a resource to make a positive impact on others or make a better life for themselves.

I agree with McLeod that we could have millions of children like the few he mentions. We could have millions of children making a positive impact on the world or making better lives for themselves. Isn’t that the main goal of a teacher – for our students to grow into positive contributors of society? I know that’s my goal! I want my students to develop positive, strong character that enables them to be positive influences on their peers, the community, and the world. McLeod encourages us to provide children with access to the technology and programs and in turn, our students will be just what we hope for. They will be amazing. They will be the positive words above. They will make a difference and change our world for the better. As teachers, we need to be open to the changes in education and allow for more opportunities than not for our students to use technology. We need to provide meaningful assignments that allow for creativity. Like McLeod says in his Ted Talk, we need to get out of the kids way and let them be amazing!

Check out other great Ted Talks at http://www.ted.com/

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