In response to the post, “A Democratic Revolution,” a reader writes:

“Zakaria’s highlights are interesting, but what interested me even more was the potential role and influence on history that digital communication, such as Twitter, has brought forth. If you did not see the article in the Houston Chronicle on June 17th, click on the link below.

The article discusses how Cohen, the youngest member of the State Department, utilized his resources to manipulate the use of networking time on Twitter, a social blogging service, to possibly change history in Iran. His intention was to allow information about the protests in Tehran to be communicated, which squelched the government’s efforts to restrict the media coverage.

When I read the article last week, I could not stop thinking of the discussions and connections that we could have with our students about the implications of technology in our world today!”

SC Response
Great comment, great article. It almost makes me wish that I was teaching Social Studies in Summer School right now.

The reader closes with an excellent sentence. Many administrators (notice the lack of the word, “leader”) do their level best to keep schools locked in “traditional, eyes forward, don’t talk” modes of operation. I tolerated this as a student (because I didn’t know better) and hate it as an adult.

We have to keep pushing the envelope and looking for new ways to engage students. From an operational standpoint, one comment changed the way I looked at classroom instruction and classroom management. Dr. Jim Davis said the following in a planning meeting, “What if the only way students could cheat, is by not helping their buddies?”

I’m still implementing permeations of that concept on many of campuses that I work with.

Here’s what I would do this summer (you can do this as a teacher leader, all the way up to board member). Build a team of you and your youngest teachers. Say, “Twitter is leading a revolution. What can we use to revolutionize instructional delivery?”

Then pilot that idea in a couple of social studies classes.

Why social studies classrooms (or I as a call them, campus remediation and extension labs)? Because, a good social studies classroom can address elements from every other content area. And, any high stakes test in Social Studies is not as rigorous as the tests in other content areas. That is not meant as an indictment, its just recognizing that you have to play the hand you are dealt.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…