I love teachers! My mom and dad are teachers; Gram, aunt and uncle are too. Everywhere I look, I have teachers loving me. I even have teachers on the other side of the world encouraging me and helping me grow my thinking! If you follow me on Twitter, you know I like to hashtag my teachers with #MyTexasTeacher (thank you, Nancy) or #MyChiTeacher (thank you, Sam) or #MyOhioTeacher (thank you, Courtney). I am so, so lucky!
Last summer, I presented at Alan November’s conference, Building Learning Communities in Boston, MA. I got to do this incredible conference because of Kristin Ziemke, author Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom. Kristin’s work is about empowering kids to drive their own learning, and she had me join her sessions and help her teach teachers. Yup, I was the teacher! Thank you, Kristin!
When I was at #BLC16, I met a lot of really amazing thinkers. I’d say that lots of them are teachers AND innovators. They knew that kids and tech go together in ways that are important and powerful. I even met Reshan, the creator of the Explain Everything app. Meeting him motivated me to check out the app and teach myself how to show my thinking in new and exciting ways.
The energy at BLC made me feel like I could do anything! At the time, I had JUST gotten my own Twitter, and I was tweeting out lots of things that I was thinking. I remember that I tweeted out to Alan how I hoped to be a Twitter sensation. At the time, I had a few thousand followers, now I have over 25,000!
Looking back, I didn’t really know how powerful social media spaces can be. I was just having fun figuring it all out and “meeting” new people. Now, I understand how I can use social media to connect with teachers, thinkers, and just really cool people all over the world! Using social media platforms, like Twitter has changed me as a learner.
I met Pana, #MyTaiwanTeacher when I was at BLC last summer. Since then, she and I have collaborated on some really amazing projects, even though she is all the way over in Taiwan and I am in Durham, NH. Pana has even started a project with my little sister, Charlotte. It’s so exciting to know that even before Charlotte is in kindergarten, she already knows she can have teachers EVERYWHERE – even on the other side of the world! The work that Charlotte and I do with Pana is based on things we want to investigate. Pana supports us in lots of ways, and especially, by introducing new apps and ways to document our thinking.
This summer, I am the kid keynote at BLC17. I feel so honored to be able to share my story with the BLC crowd because in lots of ways that’s where I began thinking about being a #GlobalLearner.
When you allow kids to be in social media spaces AND you teach them about the power of connecting to interesting people, you give them the chance to know the world, see the world, AND change the world. If kids see themselves as an agent of change, it motivates them to WANT to do good things. They don’t just see their social media posts as what they want; they see them as what the WORLD wants.
I post with my audience in my mind. I think about what I can share that is important, challenging, and true. I think about my message. I think about what I learned from my teachers all over the world. I would say I CARE more about what is happening in the world BECAUSE of my social media interactions.
I know I am a kid, but I am a kid with a message:
Hey, world! Thank you for being my teacher! Thank you to ALL the teachers who have made my world smaller and bigger ALL at the same time! Thank you for caring about me: LivBit, a kid from NH, who loves to read and talk. Thank you for believing in me in REAL ways. Thank you for showing me how much the world can CARE and LOVE.
I hope after reading this post, you will think about how you support your kids to be #GlobalLearners, too.
Keep reading, keep thinking, and, thank you for following LivBits.
P.S. Yes, I know I spelled present wrong in my Kristin letter. I think it makes it cuter! Hehehehe!