social media and education

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Our world seems to be in a constant state of despair and decay. The advent of 24-hour news coverage and the constant stream of information from social media exposes us to news from our entire planet–protests, wars, violence, and death. Too often the good things go un- or underreported, and too often we allow ourselves to be inundated or overwhelmed with the woes of the world. But with every cause, we have the ability to create change in ourselves, our communities, and the communities affected around the world–we have that power. We just don’t know how to use it.

I am a member of a technophilic generation. Laptops and smartphones allow us to be joined with our friends, peers, and idols through every second of every day; news amalgamator sites allow us to be constantly updating our sense of the world. Yet when we read a shocking story about human rights violations, our first impulse is not to change the world in which they are allowed–it is to tell people about it.

My ideal class would be focused on making social change around the world a reality–using social media not just to share the news, but to make the news; using twitter and facebook and youtube to raise consciousness, raise funds, raise spirits and hope. My honors course would use social media to change the world in addition to connecting it–and prepare us to teach our peers to do the same.

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