Happy Blog Action Day 2014!
This year’s theme of inequality is perfectly paired with the recent news that Malala Yousafzai has been awarded a Nobel Prize.
Malala is a beacon of hope for education, human rights, and equality. Her years working with The New York Times as chronicled here tell the story of the power that is one voice.
“Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai, has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education and has shown by example that children and young people too can contribute to improving their own situations,” he said. (read the full BBC piece here).
I have to wonder: how does one voice get so powerful?
From everything that I’ve read and seen about Malala (her book should be mandatory reading for the MYP student), the answer seems to be: you tell young minds that their voices matter.
Because a student’s voice matters more than any of us could ever imagine, it needs outlets.
I’m a huge believer in the importance of student blogs. I believe each and every writer in my classroom deserves a bigger and broader audience than the four walls of my classroom. Big ideas need big spaces to grow.
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
― Malala Yousafzai
If we are striving to construct a world in which inequality cannot thrive so easily, we must have a conversation about communication. What are we doing to invite better, more meaningful conversations? One way is to give more room to thought. This is the exact purpose for blogging. While many of us may have journals or post-it notes, we need to do more to “make a point of learning in the open,” as Austin Kleon says in his book.
I believe also we need to make it a point to listen better. Daniel H. Pink has brilliant things to say about listening (check out this NPR interview for more). Blogs have the potential to curate what we see, hear, and feel. I believe students can become better active listeners by collecting and presenting ideas on their blogs. Part of student blogging is also the significance of reading another blog (and another one..and another one).
“I don’t want to be thought of as the “girl who was shot by the Taliban” but the “girl who fought for education.” This is the cause to which I want to devote my life.”
― Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban