Connecting Superpower Summary and Overview
In the world of instant global interactions, students must have the tools to effectively communicate and connect with people both in the same room and around the world. They are, as Marc Prensky has labeled them, “digital natives,” having been born into a world that includes not only the Internet but microchips in almost every place they look. The Connecting Superpower provides them with the tools to share their ideas clearly and to listen to the thinking of others. It helps them to communicate and collaborate to reach whatever the goal may be.
Humans have connected to one another throughout history by telling stories. They pass on their experiences, share their wisdom and learn together through their stories. In his book, A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink devotes a chapter to “Story,” calling it “the ability to encapsulate, contextualize and emotionalize.” It is critical for students to practice telling their story. They need to learn to identify what is significant in their story and articulate it to others in ways that effectively build connections. They then need to know how to listen closely to the stories of others. The Connecting Superpower teaches them to do both.
Howard Rhinegold, in his book, Netsmart, advocates for developing student skills about building communities and connections.
What matters the most with present-day new literacies are not just the encoding and decoding skills an individual needs to know to join the community of literates but also the ability to use those skills socially, in concert with others, in an effective way.
To do this, teachers need to start with themselves. They need to evaluate their ability to respect and connect with those different from themselves. Teachers need to focus on helping students understand their feelings as well as their ideas and prepare them to share them with each other.
Check out the instructional journey resources on our Pinterest board here.