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Spark Change

Making Your Mark in a Digital World
Product code: KIDTEC
ISBN: 9781564847867
Published: 2019
Topics: Literacies, Digital citizenship, Parent engagement

$27.99 Non-member price
$21.00 Member price
By Olivia Van Ledtje and Cynthia Merrill

Spark Change is breaking new ground. It opens eyes to children and young people’s view of the world – how they want to engage with it and how they’d like us to work with them to that end, using the tech and media tools of their world.” -- Anne Collier, Net Family News

Discover the transformational work of student Olivia Van Ledtje, who exemplifies responsible online activism, inspiring both kids and adults in the global community.

Kids are naturally curious about the world around them. They seek ways to understand and interact with their environment, often using digital tools to do so. Imagine a world where children’s curiosities are amplified -- helping them see the power of their thinking, perspective and voice. Spark Change examines the multitude of possibilities available when students are given the opportunity to amplify their learning online, centering on three ideas of citizenship: be a good person, be critical and be an advocate for something you care about in life.
The book introduces readers to Liv, a young changemaker empowered to use digital tools to create and share content online. Liv’s story offers readers an opportunity to explore how students can use technology as a tool for empathy, equity and activism. Kids can’t become changemakers if they aren’t empowered to think beyond their own community. Liv’s online sense of agency serves as an example of maximizing opportunities, developing a powerful voice and making global connections that deepen her compassion for people and the world.

This book:

• Follows a model of gradual release of responsibility -- I do, we do, you do -- to show how to teach kids how to approach connected-learning experiences.
• Draws on rich literacy and technology research on student identity and pairing literacy and thinking in a digital age.
• Illustrates the value of creation and connected learning, weaving in the critical need for digital literacy for students.
• Features young students as digital leaders, providing examples of digital activism and the power of authentic student voice and participation.

Connected-learning opportunities help students develop key understandings about the world around them. This book shows how these understandings lead to social action, and how students develop a deeper sense of empathy and kindness from interacting with the world.

About the Authors

Olivia Van Ledtje (@thelivbits) is an 11-year-old who is smart about all things sharks. She hopes to be an ichthyologist and work to save sharks all over the world. A seasoned keynote speaker, Liv’s work on LivBits has been featured internationally as a model of digital good. An accomplished ballerina, Liv has participated in summer intensives in Chicago and New York City. Liv is an avid reader and Pop Tart-eater, living in Durham, New Hampshire, with her family.

Cynthia Merrill (@cyndisueboo) is a consultant, speaker and teacher dedicated to strengthening literacy experiences for all students. She works in diverse school communities throughout the U.S .coaching, training and encouraging administrators and teachers in their practices. Merrill is passionate about creating authentic opportunities for students to document their thinking using tech tools.

More Reviews

“An excellent read that is chock-full of ISTE-aligned lessons and activities that can serve to boost youth empowerment and engagement in the digital world. I absolutely recommend reading it, especially if you are looking for new ways not just to get your students online, but to do so in truly meaningful and significant ways.” -- Mike Karlin, Edtech Roundup