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.
- Highlights the voice and work of student Olivia Van
Ledtje who exemplifies responsible online activism, inspiring both kids and
adults in the global community.
- Follows a model of gradual release of responsibility
-- I do, we do, you do -- to show how to teach kids how to approach
- 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
Reviews"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