Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, America

As the Fourth of July winds down for 2009 I am quickly trying to get this post done. It rattled around in my head all day and I want to get it posted on the 4th. Many people in my personal learning network (PLN) were just getting back home from NECC in D.C. or are still in our nation's capital. There were plenty of tweets on Twitter wishing everyone a Happy Fourth of July and I couldn't help but think back to my wonderful week in D.C. I met so many of the people I know on Twitter and it was wonderful to converse with them face to face. So much sharing goes on via Twitter and it certainly continued in the face to face venue at NECC. I felt so empowered as an educator to have these connections.

I spent a great part of today remembering that I live in a country where I am afforded the opportunity to speak out and to say what is on my mind. I take the rights I have as an American too much for granted. I thought about our founding fathers gathering together to write our Constitution and marveled at the fact that they were able to get it done and it is still the document that my government is based on in the 21st century.

We educators are struggling with what schools should look like in the 21st century and how best to teach our students for their future. How do we prepare our students to be literate, functioning citizens? Are there new literacies or just a new skill set to learn the literacies of reading, writing, listening, and speaking? The debate continues, but I had to stop and be thankful that the debate can happen because I'm an American. So as the conversations continue to flow forth on these and many other educational topics, I had to take some time today to say I am proud to be an American and am blessed to have the rights which I take so lightly.

What thoughts did you have as you celebrated America's birthday?

(Picture: google images http://i.123g.us/c/ejul_fourthjuly_wishes/card/108575.gif)