Reading Response – Why Even the Worst Bloggers are Making us Smarter

One of the articles that fascinated me this week was Why Even the Worst Bloggers are Making us Smarter by Clive Thomson.

Clive describes one particular example of a blogger affecting the world, and politics in her home land.  He tells the story of Ory Okolloh, a Kenyan born law student who began blogging about the political scene in Kenya while attending Law School in the United States.  For seven years Ory blogged about the injustices in her home country and developed devoted followers.  In 2007, after a controversial Kenyan election violence broke out.  Ory wished there was a tool for the people of Kenya to share the violent events immediately, rather than waiting for her to post them.  She mentioned her ideas to some of her online friends and began collaborating to create a tool for this purpose.  Within a few days, a map-based tool was created.  This tool, called Ushahidi, has since been used by governments and non-profit organizations to provide assistance to areas of the world in crisis.  This is one example of how technology and public thinking can have a powerful effect on the world at large.

For those who are passionate about social justice in education this is important.  The implications for using blogging as a way for students to become better writers and to become more socially aware are tremendous.  Young adults and even young children are often motivated when learning about injustices around the world.  They can also be quite creative in thinking of ways that they can do something about a cause that is important to them.   I strongly believe in social justice education.  As I continue to think of ways to assist with social justice teaching around my school, I will add blogging as another strategy, thanks to Clive Thomson.

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