A few weeks ago I was on a panel for a Connected Learning webinar with Howard Rheingold: Social Media and Peer Learning: From Mediated Pedagogy to Peeragogy.
Early on, Howard talked about the idea that responsibility and trust work together. This is something I’ve been saying for a while. Here’s a graphic that I frequently use in my talks.
All these things are interrelated. I think we completely miss the boat when we talk about Digital Citizenship. Mostly it’s about rules and things students shouldn’t do. The word citizenship is such a good clue – it’s about belonging to something bigger than yourself. Engagement is part of that.
You often hear people talk about how technology is so “engaging” for kids. But that misses the point. It’s not the technology that’s engaging, it’s the opportunity to use technology to create something that is valued by the community and by yourself. Yes, a new device can be entertaining for a while, but when the novelty value wears off, what are you left with?
Engagement is not a goal, it’s an outcome of students (or anyone) doing meaningful work. Meaningful to themselves AND to the community they are in. Meaningful because someone trusted them to do something good and they shouldered the responsibility. Engagement is not something you DO to kids or you GIVE kids, it’s the outcome of this cycle of experiences.
Howard was talking about giving students in graduate school the responsibility to be co-creators of learning, the trust that that engenders, and the engagement and empowerment that ensues.
I think this can (and should) happen in K-12 education as well.