A New Generation of Social Activists


Photo Credit: Brittney Maki via Flickr(CC 2.0)

Social activism has undergone a transformation, producing  a new generation of digital activists.  With the use of social media and web based tools, young people are now a driving force behind social change.

The internet, and its crowdsourcing abilities have enabled students to foster social awareness, connect to people worldwide, and most importantly create action.

Whether it is fundraising for the local humane society, or creating a blog to raise awareness, incorporating prosocial themes into classroom lessons will cultivate altruism, empathy, and respect, while reinforcing the idea that the small efforts of individuals will fuel large scale change.

Web resources to help integrate social justice into your curriculum:

ClassDojo– The Harvard Graduate School of Education has partnered with Class Dojo to promote empathy training in the classroom.  Launched on Oct. 2, Class Dojo has introduced an original series of animated videos aimed at increasing empathy awareness and an understanding of growth mindset.

For more information on ClassDojo “Big Ideas,” please visit https://ideas.classdojo.com/ and https://www.classdojo.com/press/.

Teaching for Change– Using meaningful, real-world issues, Teaching for Change inspires students and teachers to become active in creating a socially just society.

Teaching Tolerance– A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance is a web resource for educators to promote respect, equity, and cultural understanding.  Along with quality lesson plans and professional development, Teaching Tolerance provides guidance and materials for easy implementation of school wide programs relating to social justice.

Heifer International– Heifer International has a clear mission– to end world hunger and poverty by providing families with the tools they need to become self-sustaining. With a simple click of the mouse, we can get involved by funding local projects that bring about real sustainable change.

We Give Books-Created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation, We Give Books offers a wide variety of free digital books for elementary students.  The reading efforts of students are converted into donations made to charity partners.

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