#BAD2014: My Blog Action Day Musings


Available via Creative Commons

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).

Creative Commons Image via Flickr

Creative Commons Image via Flickr

(Click here for more on this image).

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

How can we join Malala in her fight for education? How can we honor her voice in the battle inequality poses to so many learners around the world?  By asking ourselves to talk about what learning means to us.  Making a space to question, designing a forum for sharing, hosting inquiry is one step towards a creative community.  If we want our learners and schools to steer towards a globally-minded consciousness, let’s invite them to join the conversations to be had.  Blog Action Day is a wonderful way to do this.  If you have an idea for other conversation-starters, please comment here.

Here’s to hoping there is a little bit of Malala in all of our learning spaces…

© European Union 2013 - European Parliament. (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license).

© European Union 2013 – European Parliament. (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license).

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