According to Dewey (1902), the modern child has traditionally been taught in ways which each content and concepts are taught separately. When this is the case, there are no personal connections for the child to reference. Learning is seen as separate and scattered. It is this pedagogical model that I seek to reform in this lesson. Concept mapping is not a new idea. However, in schools it is often done on paper or poster board and lost with time. Mindmeisteris a collaborative concept mapping tool that will not only allow multiple users to work together, but it will live on in cyberspace for as long as the owner of the map wishes it to remain.
Clay Shirky (2009) speaks on social media and its effects on communication. The internet has evolved into a platform for the consumers of media to become generators of their own media message. Using Mindmeister to track ideas as they evolve in the classroom allows for students to be the generator of their own messages and track their learning process. This allows for students to make the connections from one concept to another and track how each new thought was generated from the thought that preceded it.
While it is important to have a medium for students to engage in collaboration, the content and message of the collaborative process is equally important. The content focus of this lesson is "peace". When we take a powerful concept such as "peace" we can build on its historical, political, and social implications. We can draw on many cultures to explore this concept from multiple points of view.
Finally, the use of on-line collaborative tools, such as Mindmeister allows for collaborators to be invited from around the world. On-line tools are a platform for globalized education. Globalized education opportunities are one of the many goals of the The Earth Charter Initiative. The Earth Charter principle 1.3 describes the goal of building a democratic society that is just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful. Through content choices and on-line collaboration, we can lead the pursuit of these ideas.