I spent the better part of the weekend thinking about the fact that someone (or many someones) in California, Bulgaria, India, and The Philippines have visited my blog. How do I know? Revolver Maps.
Revolver Maps is a great little widget you can add to a blog that collects "real-time visitor statistics widgets for your website or blog" (https://www.revolvermaps.com). Basically, it embeds a cute little globe on your blog that has little red dots - each representing places around the world from which your blog was accessed. (Have a look at mine - it is on the left under by bio, or the 2D version below.) It is free, customizable, and easy to install. Most importantly, as an educator, it made me so excited about the power of one little red dot.
The more I got caught up in my excitement that my ideas were being shared around the world, the more I thought about the effect that this phenomenon would have on students. I am a big advocate for students to create products that will be seen by a global audience. I really feel students get caught up in playing the game of school. You know the one - "Hi teacher, tell me what you want me to say, I will say it and then I get an 80+%". When we create environments wherein products are seen by the teacher alone, the students only cares about one person and thus fits work into a mold. Taking products global makes the audience authentic and thus the students are not bound by what they feel one person will think but rather they must think larger scale. Imagine the power of having students blog and installing this widget on the blog!?! Quickly the students must become more critical in their thought process: how would multiple people critique this work? Their work becomes about how they want to represent their thoughts, not about what one evaluator wants to see. That's a great way to build 21st Century thinkers - that's a lot of power for a little red dot.
Note: Within 15 minutes of posting this I had hits in California and Florida. I am in Ontario. #newsspreadsfast