Reality vs. Representation

In reality, water is present because we need it to survive and, in reality, my DVD was created as a final product of my social media education mission. However, if we look at what each of these things represent, they tell an even greater story. In literature, water is present whenever an author wants to signal a turning point in the story through symbolism. And my DVD is not only a final product for my senior year, but the beginning of a career in business.

“Social Networks, Educator Empowerment, and Student Success” is not simply a tangible object that signifies the end of my senior year and Innovations class project. It represents the research and collaboration I have conducted in the last eight months. In addition, it provides administrators the opportunity to look through a high school student’s eyes of why social media is beneficial in the classroom and how others have incorporated it into their own curriculum. But it also symbolizes a turning point in the education system.

The current education system needs an update. It still values technology and information that has long been deemed outdated and is still very traditional in its facilitation of student success. It encourages strict standards for students, which usually means a lack of creativity and innovation, and it even tells students they will not be successful unless they take as many AP classes as they can without their head exploding from the hours-long AP tests at the end of the year. Though I am on my way out of secondary schooling and moving on to college (which I hear is more relaxed and provides room for creativity), I still want these aspects of the lower grades of education to change or at the least be modified to reflect the 21st century and its demands of certain skills in the workplace.

Thus, I hope by watching my DVD, educators and education officials will be inspired by my words and are motivated to make a change in the current system. I was lucky enough to have the chance to expand my learning past the four walls of a traditional classroom and was fortunately able to achieve success through this method; however, a majority of students are not given this opportunity. As I stated in my interview with Jenn Scheffer, which can be found in my blog post “Digital Citizenship, Marketing, and Emoticons,” the success I have found in just my senior year is amazing, but imagine what students would be accomplishing not only in the education system but in the professional world if they met similar opportunities to my own in elementary or middle school, or even just as a freshman in high school. These students would be hungry for power and would have the tools and skills to possess it. They would be striving for success, which was oddly once the motto for my school, beyond simply graduating high school on time. These students would be conquerers.

Considering the connotation that is associated with “conquerers,” the power held by the word could be taken out of context from my use of it. I want students, my peers and younger, to conquer the professional world. I want them to take the reigns out of the teacher’s hands and move forward with determination, passion, and an air of accomplishment. I want teachers to lead a classroom filled with innovation, creativity, intelligence, wisdom, and the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from the best. I want teachers and students to learn together, to network with professionals in all fields of study, and to gain insight to careers they never knew existed. In essence, I want our education system to develop into a system that not only encourages individual student success but success of generations as a whole.

To quote John Lennon, “You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” To those who believe in my mission, and my “wild” dreams, we need to band together! Eventually social media will be integrated into the education system and–eventually–our education system will be updated to reflect the 21st century society we live in.

As a stated in the introduction of this post, my DVD is not the end of my senior year, Innovations project, or life in secondary education. It is only the beginning.

 

If you would like to order my DVD, you may purchase it on my website at educationmediatools.com!

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