Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Power of Words

I came across an article about a woman who lives in N.J. and has been banned in Yemen for what she writes. Seems after 9/11 she decided she needed to know more about the Arab world so she started studying and researching. She came across some different information concerning a journalist that was being held in prison for sedition. As she explored the information she started to blog about it. She has become so well known in Yemen that she has been called a spy, a member of Al-Queda along with many other things.

In April a young man was arrested in Egypt for taking pictures of a protest. He "twittered" the word "arrested" from his cell phone. His network of 48 other people went to work and a few days later he was released from jail. His story is amazing to say the least.

In both of these instances, and I am sure there are many more out there, through the simple power of the written word so many things can be accomplished. So why aren't we using the different tools of Web 2.0 to help our students discover their own inner power? The fear of losing funds through Erate keeps many people holding on to the filters. Some people actually try to work with their IT departments and are able to accomplish a lot. We want technology integrated but does that automatically translate into learning? How much power are we losing in our words or the words of our students by not getting those words out there in the real world?

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