Celebrating Citizenship with Nancy’s Class

Posted in Mathematics by iwonderstand on June 3, 2014
Tags: , , ,

I have been ‘almost done’ my blog post for #DCMOOC for almost a week, but there was something just not quite right about it. I had been reflecting on “Being the Me I Want to Be” and it seemed very inauthentic and trite. Then I was talking to my friend Nancy, who I wrote about in “Just Like Nancy” and I realized what was wrong. I was writing about a hypothetical person reflecting on their contributions, and I should be writing about a group of children who are reflecting on their contributions.

This morning, I have the chance to go into Nancy’s classroom and share a math lesson. Not just any math lesson. This is a math lesson that will have Nancy’s Grade 3/4 class reflect, celebrate, and realize that they have influence all over the world. We will use statistics from this blog to show how they are helping others to Learn About Citizenship. They will learn how reading statistics can help us understand how much they have contributed to the world beyond Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

World Stats

And then looking at the bigger picture. This is the power of active digital citizenship – moving beyond our own community to reach others who are miles away. Again, I draw the parallel between citizenship within my community of Saskatoon, and digital citizenship.

There are quiet citizens in Saskatoon – those who do no harm, but also don’t contribute to the greater good of their neighborhood and larger community. There are also active citizens in Saskatoon – they are the people who volunteer, are on charity boards, do fundraising for the child next door who needs to travel out of province for an operation. There are people like Nancy’s class that do good things, not for themselves, but to make others’ lives better.

There are also quiet online citizens – those who do no harm, but also don’t contribute to the knowledge, understanding, or enjoyment of others. I think about my online world up until a few years ago. I had locked down facebook (admit that I still do!), ‘lurked’ occasionally on blogs but did not post, read my twitter feed but did not tweet, I had this blog but did not post. I was a quiet online citizen who did not hurt others, but I certainly did not contribute to my online community. I did no ‘good things’ online to make others’ lives better. By participating in #DCMOOC, I am thinking more and more about how I can use my online presence to build community and move towards being an active online citizen.

Thinking ahead to my morning in Nancy’s mathematics class. My hope today is that they will see the power of positive contributions to their community. I am also hoping that they see that by taking their story beyond their community, they have influenced others and their thinking about what positive, active citizenship can look like. I am hoping that they are further empowered to continue making a difference, even when they grow up beyond Nancy’s classroom.

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