I had the wonderful opportunity to read several essays written by Grade 6 and 7 students in the West Vancouver School District about how Canadians can promote peace in the world. Our “new generation” does understand that technology can play a key role in this.
Here is an excerpt from Sayeh (Grade 7 student):
We, as Canadian students, have the privilege of being educated and the right to speak up for global issues. Therefore, we can promote peace in the world by raising awareness in nations where people cannot speak up for their rights. You might not believe it, but it’s the reaction of the rest of the world which makes these brutal governments rethink their actions. And now, the generation of youth in these suffering nations has new ways to spread their message to the rest of the world and connect to our youth through advanced technology and social media. With these new communications, learning can occur quickly and the message can be spread.
Sayeh recognizes there is much more to social media than Facebook with her
friends. She sees social media as having the power to influence change around the world.
Genevieve, (Grade 6 student) also recognizes this potential when she discussed how young people can make a difference:
How, you ask? We live in a technology generation, and we can use it! All of us can email our MP, our Premier, and our Prime Minister. We can let them know about issues that are worrying us and about what we want them to do about it. We can use websites such as YouTube to tell people around the globe about issues that we want the whole world to know about, and to get them to be concerned and help those affected. We can create websites; write blogs, or use twitter and Facebook to contact people! There are endless possibilities.
Genevieve breaks down the stereotype about how young people spend their time online. This generation is growing up recognizing they can use technology to help promote change. We are a well-educated and connected country, province and district; these students are absolutely right that we have the ability to leverage social media networking to help promote change. We have a long way to go, but with the reflective thinking of Sayeh and Genevieve, it is evident we are on our way to embedding the powerful, positive use of technology with our kids.
Thanks to Tara Zielinski for sharing these essays with me.