Beyond These Walls

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Is developing voice a prerequisite for connected learning?

Every time you take the risk to be true to your own soul – whether or not you name your action as heroic – your example helps others to do likewise. When you notice this pattern, it becomes easier to have absolute fidelity to your own path without fear that doing so is selfish. We can do nothing better for others than model the authentic life.

                                                                                                         ~ Carol Pearson

I have been struggling with locating MY voice. I thought I “had it” awhile back, but I was out riding an #etmooc wave that threw me up on shore sanded, seaweeded and discombobulated. I pick off the bits ingrained in fabric and particles between toes. I was cautious to ride again.

What made me fall? Did my voice drown, gasping in the discordant cacophony of others? Did doubt make me unstable losing balance all at once.? Did I become too attentive of the other riders?

As I paddle out again, I hear voices louder than my own; stronger, clearer, purer, surer. Not mine. It pains me to hear my voice yet have it tangle on its way up and out, mixed up and mixed in, still. Seaweed and sand. Discordantly it does not seem to matter that I have clarity of voice within but rather it seems essential to get it out in one intact piece.

To connect, my voice is my primary tool, whether in 140 characters, a blog post or meeting face to face for the first time at a conference. Is my voice the way you draw a connected line to me? Is it one of the fundamental ways that we connect as people and therefore a primary building block for connected learning?

Do students have an opportunity to safely explore their own voice? Do they get to explore voices from different points of view, social, global, entrepreneurial, political ?

Is voice the nutrient broth for connectivity and does an authentic voice allow for more meaningful connections which in turn amplifies the connection?

Is care  fundamental to voice development in providing an environment where you feel heard and feel your voice has value?

Do we give our students voice? I think at school students have very little voice. Why is that? How can we change that?

“All I have is a voice.”
― W.H. Auden


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