Extracurricular Empowerment

After watching Scott McLeod’s TED Talk “Extracurricular Empowerment,”and even though I am confused as to how the girl was able to take pictures of her lunch during school (what are the technology policies at her school?) I am astounded by the bright, young minds and what they are all capable of. It is so important for teachers to encourage this passion and thirst for knowledge, even if it has nothing to do with what the teacher is teaching. Of course, it is so important to try and incorporate what they are passionate about into what you are teaching and allow for many activities to get students excited about learning. I think it is so cool that young teenagers are able to find things they love (especially girls!) and they are encouraged to continue pursuing their dreams and passions. 

One thing that I am not surprised by at all is that the school board tried to tell her she couldn’t take pictures of her food and post them anymore. This could possibly be because of the “bad publicity” that they were getting from her rating the food and also counting the hairs (ew!) she found in her lunches. I think that instead of letting her be creative and have her own blog and continue doing what she clearly likes to do, schools are often obsessed with “publicity” and making sure that they look good. Instead of listening to students and trying to find the balance between what they want and what they school wants to make sure everyone is happy, they are so focused on the way it is now and not letting students jeopardize that with their online commentary. I believe that there are many things that schools can learn from the students that attend them, and just by giving the students the opportunity to talk and use those technology devices in a constructive way, can help to bridge the gap between administrators/teachers and students. Students love to share their opinion and letting them be a part of creating/tweaking their learning experience will also help them become more excited and invested in succeeding in that environment as well. 

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One thought on “Extracurricular Empowerment

  1. I totally agree that the school’s reaction was exactly what I would have expected. It shows a fundamental distrust of kids that the initial response to “this girl is telling everyone what school is like” is to stop her, not to fix the underlying problem. If we trust and respect kids, we’ll be much more comfortable with letting them explore and create with new technology instead of trying to keep them “under control.”

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