READ ON FOR SOME IDEAS ON HOW TO RESTORE PEACE AND SAFETY TO OUR SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS.
NOTE: THIS BLOG WAS FIRST PUBLISHED SEVERAL MONTHS AGO. GIVEN ITS IMPORTANCE, WE ARE PUBLISHING IT AGAIN.
Hashmarks (#) are all over the place these days. We have seen #MeToo which has helped stem abuse of women. If we use Twitter, we know hashtags help us the find relevant information we seek.
Hashmarks can be overdone of course. See the graphic to the right.
But one that caught our eye this past week ties in with our Blog Title above. It, too, was a # posting, like the many we saw in the media on the #WalkOut of school by thousands of students in a national protest on March 14, 2018.
While their hashmark spoke to the many concerns students had, one of them we saw on Facebook took a much more positive approach.
It directly addressed the problem and presented an idea that might actually help resolve the underlying problems some loners have. See the poster on the left to see what we saw.
We loved the part about: “What can YOU do? It followed with four bullet points of fresh ideas that just might prevent another tragedy from happening in the future.
Why? Members of a team stick together and help one another. Being a member of a team could help prevent another loner…maybe one who otherwise would find himself driven to violence. One thing for sure, it can’t hurt and it could help.
Read on for the rest of our RE@LBlog #Hashtag story…..
Here’s how Wikipedia® reported the tragic Parkland, Florida school shootings a month ago:
“On February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed and seventeen more were wounded, all by bullets, making it one of the world’s deadliest school massacres.”
Note this state of support in the photo at the left. The photo at the right asks a fearful question that is now disturbing to students everywhere.
Now, a month from the tragedy, the photo at the right taken by Lorie Shaull (used with permission) shows us students at the National School Walkout on March 14, holding signs with a question that strikes at the heart of all students: How do we insure that our schools are a safe place to learn? Is there an answer? We must find one.
Since then there have been calls for new legislation barring assault weapons and a host of other proposals to help address such tragedies. As a result, this week there were over 2,800 schools whose students were involved in national “WalkOut Day” and marched to to protest gun violence in schools. It presented us all with the question above. How can we address these tragedies?
Students everywhere, one way or another, showed their concerns and fears about a lack of safety and security in their schools. School must be a place dedicated to learning, not terror and killing. Whether you agreed with this protest or not, it called attention to the broad concern for safety in our schools. Schools first need to be a safe and conducive place to learn.
Relatedly, a few weeks ago RE@LBlog® brought our many readers a 3-part blog series on why CyberTeaming in our schools is a solution to the lingering issues of CyberBullying and Social Media-Dissing. The title of our first blog in the series was:
“CyberBullying Or CyberBuddies? Can Technology Teams Help Bring Greater Peace and Prosperity to the World? Yes They Can! Part One” Click on this link to read the first blog in that well-read series.
Two additional blogs were written on this same topic in our belief that we educators can turn CyberBullying into CyberTeaming. Admittedly, there’s a long way between bullying someone and shooting up a school. Both must stopped!
But upon reflection, perhaps the difference can be seen as one of degree, and not terms. Can hurting others be stopped before it gets worse. RE@L believes the answer is, “Yes!”
Bullying stems from a desire to hurt someone, either physically or verbally, or both. In STEM-based and collaborative Project-Based Learning activities, students are required to collaborate to solve real-world problems. That’s called Team-Building! It finds a place on the team for everyone.
Early on, students learn that they must work together and use the many group talents to get their tasks done successfully. They need to master the many new Cyber-tools in K12 schools today and work as a team, just as they will in the world of work and careers.
It may surprise you that many who bully others were first bullied by others. It is their way for striking out at others, just as they were attacked or belittled. It’s a way that’s perceived as getting “even,” when all it does is create more inequality, pain and suffering.
One of the key findings deduced from the well-known Tulane University studies was that to reduce bullying, we must focus on building more team-work.
We need groups of different students working together and learning to value the talents and efforts of everyone in the work-group. STEM learning is a good way to make that happen.
RE@L’s Blogs on these topics took the position that CyberBullying, with a thought-out plan and dedicated efforts, can be turned into CyberTeaming. We don’t bully others on our team. We work together to produce better results..
That’s why RE@L wants to promote this new tactic of students working together and finding more ways to create effective teams, instead of ousting from the group students whose skills or lack thereof, aren’t the same. #WalkingUp and inviting others into a group makes far more sense than #WalkingAway from them.
We know that students learn from one another in a group, especially when they collaborate with each other and affirm one another. We need look no further than a successful sports team for affirmation. They respect each other and affirm each other. Each member of the team aspires to be the best they can be. Forget the record books and the titles….what matters is have we worked together to the best of our abilities.
Some 40 years ago, this powerful and catchy song was sung by many around the whole world. The title was, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony….”
Harmony is what it’s all about….especially when we, each and everyone of us, find a way to work together, to make something good happen that’s never been seen or happened before.
So, Let’s All #WalkUp!
Let’s invite in a diverse group of others to #WalkIn to our collaborative learning teams. Let’s make them feel they are a valued part of the team. Let’s create a new harmony in learning and many new teams of learners!
There’s no need for #WalkAway or #WalkOut! Just #WalkUp!