Are social media taking over your life? Are they taking over your children’s lives? How connected to we need to be? This is a debate in your blog administrator’s household and elsewhere. Although Facebook, for example, currently prohibits persons under 13 from having a page, over seven million kids under 13 create a Facebook page anyway, fibbing about their ages.
– Following is Assistant Director Michael Piacenza’s address to the eighth graders graduating from Unity Charter School on 15 June 2012. We are here tonight to celebrate the promotion of 13 wonderful young ladies and gentlemen. Over the past ten months, I have seen them at their best. I have watched them mature, and I can honestly say that I have probably learned more from them then they have from me. So, when I was asked if I would like to speak at the ceremony tonight, I first thought about what an honor it would be to offer some pieces of advice for my first group of Unity eighth graders who have taught me so much.
I sat at my laptop and typed “responsible citizenship” on my scope and sequence [scope and sequence: a way of organizing curriculum] for this school year. I worried about whether kindergarteners could grasp the magnitude of volunteering and serving others’ needs. I was anxious to teach them all the ways that people do need, for shelter, food, and health. More obscurely, people need for compassion, empathy, and acceptance. All of my misgivings and fears were allayed when I began teaching the unit in the classroom.
On 15 June, Unity Charter School held a ceremony to commemorate the graduation of the eighth grade class. Below is Director Carolyn Mungo’s speech to the graduates and their families. Welcome to the promotion ceremony for the class of 2012. It has been a productive fun-filled year. You have the honor of being the second class to be promoted at One Evergreen Place. For one of you, Jordan, this is only your first year as a Unity student. For some, Safi, John, and Quasean, you have been with us for only two years. For others, Monica, Jake, Austin, Emily, Shelby, and Jonathan, you been at Unity several years, and then three of you, Ariel, Charlie and Jasmine have the distinction of spending all of your elementary school years as a member of the Unity Community. I have only had the pleasure of teaching four of you but, no matter how long you have been at Unity, I do believe that I know you well. You have contributed in many ways to make Unity the unique place it is and I can say that not only is each of you is a better person from having been a part of this amazing commUnity but Unity has benefitted from your presence.
This week’s collection of links look at a variety of approaches to education in the United States. I’m not a professional, only a parent. As one writer below characterized, I’m a digital immigrant rather than a digital native. Some may find me a Luddite when it comes to integrating education concepts with technology. Mea culpa: I still believe in times tables. But I’ve come across some Internet essays that have made me look at digital education differently. Am I ready to embrace it? Perhaps not yet. Check some of these out and see what you think.