Monday, January 18, 2016

Importance of Voice

As I sit at my desk after #NYEDChat's convo on being the digital change, I realize how important voice is. Tonight participants from across the states joined in to discuss the topic, "Be the Digital Change". A chorus of voices rocked the Twittersphere as I hoped. While tweeting with Marialice Curran, co-founder of Dig Cit Summit and Dig Cit Summit UK, and her 3rd grader son about this, I realized that educators have a challenge. It is our duty to provide students with writing and speaking opportunities for their voices to rise beyond their classrooms. Teaching them to do so with respectful and responsible behavior is a necessity. 

I think how apropos it was to have this conversation on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. As an important figure in history, King's powerful voice proclaimed his beliefs despite challenges faced. His words still ring true today. 

Intelligence plus character define what a digital citizen is in this Information Age. During the era that King lived the words digital citizen were an unknown thought but if King were alive today, he would be an ideal model-a powerful, ethical voice speaking out on freedom across social media.

I look back on a post that I wrote two years ago, honoring his words. The image below was an ending thought on my blog. King posed this question that is still a most urgent one decades later.

How often do we stop to think how we are affecting and impacting the lives of others, especially our students' learning lives? How often do we stop to teach our students what it means to have a responsible and ethical voice? Having intelligence plus character is what makes a digital citizen a voice to be heard. I am moved tonight to ponder King's question and ask my readers to do the same as a call to action. 

Each Tuesday Two Writing Teachers offer space for teachers and writers to offer their Slice of Life. Please visit the site here to read other slices. 

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