It Still Takes a Village: Social Media

Frank B. WithrowBy Frank B. Withrow

With each new technology we have pluses and minuses. It saddens me that teenagers are using the social media for criminal and destructive purposes. The slash and flash targeting of all night stores by mostly teenage girls, converging en masse to steal from them, is disturbing. We should be wise enough to counter these events and to use the power of social media for the benefit of young people.

It still takes a village to raise a child. By that I mean a culture must honor and reward the concept of education. For most of our history we have been an optimistic society that believes the younger generation will be better off than the current generation.

So let us begin anew – remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. (Excerpts from John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s inaugural speech as the 35th President of the United States, January 20, 1961.)

We need to rekindle in our country this hope for all our children, a culture that believes anything is possible and that the next generation will be better and that the future belongs to our children. We are as a culture obligated to create a better world of achievement for every child. Our public schools must be shining doorways of opportunity for ALL children. Let us commit ourselves to a reality of no child left behind. Let all within our communities dedicate themselves to a better world of opportunity for ALL. Every child deserves the support and backing of the total community. If we fail our children there is no greater future for us as a people.

Let us create schools for the 21st Century and throw off the burdens of a 19th Century system. Education of our children is a responsibility for all members of our society. Let us have a system worthy of the digital age.

2 Responses

  1. Sometimes it takes more than a village. Precisely, broadband in the nether regions of the US would be one heck of an improvement.
    Folks have to depend on the local media selections and there are places where there is CNN, reality shows, infomercials and not much else. When you fall into a black hole of an unsupported media
    area it is brutal.

    There is of course the problem of those who give up on technology because it is ever changing. Even I get frustrated once in a while.
    While trying to learn G+ and I did it thank you very much, I got a rude
    lesson in porn. Hard to explain, even more difficult to discern who of suggested friends wants to share beyond the pale. But someone noticed. I am so glad. Facebook is changing, too, ever emerging to meet the competiton.

    The village has great information and it does take people using the learning landscape to point out some reality points. So if we don’t teach the minorities well, well, we will slip back in our ability to be innovative and creative. After all STEM is now coming to the forefront after a decade of NCLB and the lack of interest in all but those going to college, in sharing

    There are the people who ignore the dropouts, sadly there are kids who are in school dropouts, their bodies are there but their minds are elsewhere. Digital media and skillful teaching could , could , would help to solve that problem.

    One more peeve of mine. I have traveled the world, to villages where there is one teacher, to places where girls don’t go to school. To places where even the boys don’t go to school. I am sick of the elite telling me that we who try to create some type of universal education are not doing a good job. We do need to have a culture that respects academics better. But there are some explanations for the areas of need. I live in an area of need. DC schools are not the best. But there are people trying to improve them I think. I hope.
    The world is not all black and white and wrong and right. On small islands in Greece children take a boat to the next island for school.
    In Finland and in places that don’t teach everything, half of our “curriculum” is things that happen after school. Singing school Gym after school, that kind of thing and by the way, at 13, well.
    your career choices may have been made for you. There are SO
    many factors that have been left out of the PISA accounting. Did I mention teaching in a school in Jamaica where the guys were smoking weed and a pig ran through the classroom? Not making fun, the students tested well. But they only do several subjects What they do, they do well. The Rastas were actually there learning too. They llked listening.

    The village has many problems, and some are not as bad as others

    Bonnie Bracey Sutton

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