My school encourages its students and staff to be active learners, to build and connect with their PLN, and engage in responsible ‘Digital Citizenship’. Over 100 staff members in our district use Twitter for professional endeavors and model appropriate social media use for our students. While other districts have restricted smartphone use in school, our district has adopted a different policy: teach students to use the mini-computer in their pockets to enhance their learning. There have been a few instances where administration has had to intervene, due to some poor choices; however, on the whole students use technology responsibly.
The larger picture of this technology proliferation is really the 'need for significance' being played out. Blogger, MySpace (what's that?!), Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. are a collection of individuals sharing in order to connect with others in meaningful ways. There is a small part of us that places enormous value on the number of Twitter followers, Facebook friends, Likes, website visits, comments, retweets, favorites, and whatnot. We sometimes link this to our self-worth, pride and acceptance as individuals.
Students (and teachers) thrive in engaging environments where they feel accepted, because of the collaboration, peer interactions and creativity which occur. Would your classroom be described as such? What are some ways you can move toward this? Share in the comments below! Though some say technology is reducing face-to-face interactions, arts educators are (anecdotally) seeing that this ‘technology integration’ is placing even more young people on a trajectory toward the arts and vehicles for collaborative learning.
Perhaps it is the ....
1. “disconnectedness” that is encouraging more and more students (in our district) to get involved in music, art, drama, speech, (etc.).
2. "connectedness" of technology that has 'wet the appetite' for authentic involvement and collaboration.
3. research about music education engaging every brain region and dopamine release playing out.
4. fact that the arts demand active learners, where "no one is safe" to sit unengaged.
5. arts' inherent quality to bind individuals into a greater whole, and express meaning across cultures and languages.
6. requirement of responsiblity and citizenship that are cornerstones of arts education.
... and perhaps a sundry of other reasons.
What are you seeing in your district?