I’m currently reading the book Digital Community Digital Citizen by Jason Ohler. In the introduction Jason talks about his greatest goal, for readers to walk away ‘humming this mantra’:
Technology connects us and disconnects us. It is up to us to understand how this happens so that we can become the best human beings we are capable of becoming. Technology amplifies. Let it amplify our greatest hopes for ourselves, our communities, and our planet. (p 7)
Most students that I work with see how technology connects them. As a matter of fact many students are more worried about missing out, then they are about fitting in. The connections they create and monitor online are very important to them. They are often so consumed by these connections that they don’t see how technology can disconnect them. Some become disconnected from their ‘real life’ and communities without even realizing it.
It is up to us to help our students understand how technology connects and disconnects. It is also important to help them understand how they can use technology to amplify and celebrate their lives. Students should leverage their digital presence to show the world who they are: friend, protector, artist, musician, mathematician, writer, athlete, historian, scientist, thinker, believer… Their digital footprint should show future employers, clients, friends, significant others and colleagues their greatest hopes and accomplishments.
I believe that our students are the future, and yes, I believe that technology can amplify, ‘our greatest hopes for ourselves, our communities, and our planet.’ Now we need to help them believe it too.