This week I have been reflecting how to use digital technologies to engage my students in participating in deliberative processes. According to Barber and Mourshed, 2007 (cited in Fonseca & Bujanda, 2011, p. 259), I need to first begin with reflecting upon the weaknesses in my own teaching, have access to best practices and I need to be motivated to adopt changes. “These elements have proven to be prerequisites for teacher change and can be achieved in the context of a school culture that enables teachers to learn from each other, engage in teamwork, and practice coaching on a regular basis.” (Fonseca & Bujanda, 2011, p. 259).
How can I best orchestrate an effective learning process and begin to develop the skills required for my students to take a participatory role in their community? Currently our town is looking at what to do with the old pool space in the original recreation centre. They have established a blog, EngageCanmore.ca to invite participation of the entire community. I’m currently reflecting on how to engage my students in this community dialogue and help them see themselves as participatory citizens. “…the main purpose of integrating digital technologies into citizenship education programs is to offer students opportunities to broaden and enrich children’s identities and actions as citizens. “ (Fonseca & Bujanda, 2011, p. 249).
Communication students interviewed as part of a study exploring the opportunities and challenges for journalism and news in participatory democracy mentioned, “that the public should be involved, contribute to civic dialogue, provide feedback, and report alongside journalists.” (Mihailidis & Shumow, 2011, p. 43). So should our students, regardless of age. Our goal is to foster a “commitment toward community, increased ability to listen and participate in dialogue, and increased ability to relate and cooperate with others.” (Fonseca & Bujanda, 2011, p. 254). Digital technologies further enable children’s voices to be heard.
Fonseca, C., & Bujanda, M. (2011). Promoting children’s capacities for active and deliberative citizenship with digital technologies: the CADE Project in Costa Rica. Annals of The American Academy Of Political & Social Science, 633(1), 243-262. Retrieved from: http://ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=poh&AN=57204687&site=ehost-live
Mihailidis, P., & Shumow, M. (2011). Theorizing journalism education, citizenship, and new media Technologies in a Global Media Age. Taiwan Journal Of Democracy, 7(2), 27-47. Retrieved from: http://ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=poh&AN=71492333&site=ehost-live