CONNECTIVITY is the new LITERACY.
In 2016, it’s not enough for our children to be able to read and write.
Effective communication is the ability to create of a powerful message AND project it to a global audience.
At BISS, we teach students to create text in many forms (written, verbal, images, films). They learn to write accurately for different purposes, using rhetorical and persuasive devices, and applying contrast, balance and multi-media techniques to enhance their message. They learn to make decisions about “temporary & private” vs. “public & permanent”, by considering the content, audience and intent of their message.
We also teach students to use networking tools such as blogs, Twitter, WeChat, Facebook, Vines, Instagram. (Or more often, the children teach us!) Actually, the tool is not important. The digital landscape is ever-changing. By next year, this list will be different. Remember MySpace?
However, by embracing social media in our classrooms, we have a very important goal. We support students to build learning networks.
Read on about the power of connectivity for 21st Century learners.
Networks of connectivity allow students to access knowledge and communicate with people and organisations, far beyond their classroom. Without the limits of geography, time or cost, students can pose questions, find answers and present ideas to millions of people around the globe, in real time.
This week, Elio (Grade 5) and his mum Katja shared a news story about Dorian, an 8-year-old American boy suffering from terminal cancer, for whom medical treatment is no longer helpful. This boy’s wish is that people as far away as China celebrate his life. Dorian’s story has inspired the world. Celebrities, businesses, and entire cities have taken to social media to promote his story.
Grade 5 decided to support Dorian’s wish to be known in China. They tweeted their own image using the hashtag #DStrong. Within 2 minutes, their message was re-tweeted across 4 continents: Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. Through this experience, BISS students understood the purpose of a social cause, the boy’s strength in the face of adversity, their own ability to show support, and the speed and influence of digital networking.
We are proud of the way our children can create, shape and communicate messages.
We know that connectivity will be a powerful lifelong skill, which will increase their capacity to learn, communicate, generate a portfolio and effect change in this world.