When we wonder why our students should be connecting globally–I have an answer right now-
Following the devastating earthquake, it has been social networking that has facilitated so much of the information and help that aid agencies needed to know to help survivors.
Amazing stories abound, from the man who saved his life during the earthquake with an iPhone, to the amazing photographs tweeted out by @photomorel in the first hours after the quake, to the posts to Twitter by @RAMHaiti each day, to the incredible work the self-organized Crisis Camps around the country are doing–bringing programmers together of all sorts to create apps that may be needed by relief agencies, to the sole librarian who used a blog and Youtube to collect over 20,000 in three days for relief efforts, to a wiki site Lisa Parisi organized to help children of Haiti for classes to participate in.
From large to small, the network has allowed all of us to be a part of the global community–offering aid, gathering news, and extending a hand. This is why our students need to know how to use these tools, how to connect and communicate with others, and what/when is appropriate.
It’s an amazing story that will be repeated in newspaper and magazine articles across the world, because once again it drives home the power of networking. But even more so, it is a message to schools–our students need to be a part of this global community.
We need to empower them by helping them build the knowledge and skills to truly become globally connected citizens. And we need to do it now. So they can know this:
RAMhaiti “To drive around the whole city of PauP is too unbelievable. Destruction everywhere.”
When you hear it first hand, what a difference it will make for our students’ understanding that this is all one world, and that they are part of it.