Monday, October 21, 2013

HIVE Learning Network and others

In light of connected educators' month, I started to think about what the goal of connecting educators is. It's connecting educators so that classrooms are connected, ideas are shared, and collective intelligence increases. However, I'm a proponent of also focusing on directly connecting students.

Yes, students connect on Facebook and other social media sites. But, are they connected by their passions? Are they connected by a larger goal? Or, are they just connected by supposed "friends." Sadly, I see a lot of the latter. How can we change that? How can we change the way students are connected to one another so that it is not just by "friends"? To me, this goes along with digital citizenship and using the power of a network to enhance the learning outcome. Rather than just focusing on connecting educators, I would like to focus on connecting students. They are our future.

Mozilla's HIVE Learning Network is one such example. They have partnered with Educator Innovator, National Writing Project, Geekouts and more to help connect students on global issues and to give students a voice of power. The HIVE NYC Learning Network has initiated a variety of topics from robotics and makers' squares to combating congressional issues. Today, the National Writing Project is organized a TweetUp in honor of digital citizenship week and Connected Educators' Month. Their goal is to have a national day of writing. What better way to connect students than through writing?

And, what about Mozilla's Web Maker? It lets students recreate the Web, connecting students on a common project.

How can you connect students? Must you be connected first yourself?

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