One More Look @ Introversion: Digital Literacy and the Quiet Child

I wrote recently on how I use blogging to connect the introvert in my classroom  and have found it is making it much easier for my quiet students to connect to the lessons and participate with their classmates.  Something interesting is happening with one student in particular that I thought I’d share.

“Mandy” is uber-quiet.  For the better part of the school year now, she comes in, gotten her self situated and simply faded into the background.  I didn’t even know what she sounded like.  When we started blogging, she came to me for help getting her blog set up and has been happily responding to posts written and creating great posts of her own (most of them, pictorial).   I’m pleased, because I know she’s “speaking up” now. 

When I start a new lesson, we read out loud from our textbooks.  I always take volunteers and most love to read.  About 2 weeks ago, as we started a lesson on how the moon affects tides on the planet, I did my opening demonstration and while I had my back turned to put my props away, asked for a volunteer to read the first section of the lesson.  I turned, scanning the room.  The usual 4 or 5 students had their hands up and… so did Mandy.  This was different!

I called on her. The smile on her face was so bright I couldn’t help but smile too. Everyone looked back at her and waited quietly for her to begin.  Her voice is small, extremely small; I had to walk back to stand by her to even hear her in the quiet room.  A couple of the more critical ones complained (naturally) that they couldn’t hear her, but I encouraged her to keep going.

She moved through the passage slowly and when she was finished, ducked her head instinctively.  The class erupted in applauds. I thanked her, gave her a little hug and told her how great a job she’d done and she smiled.  That smile lasted all day.

Seeing how the simple act of having a painfully shy child start writing a blog resulted in her volunteering to read to the class (she’s done it 3 times since) is an example of how changing the dynamic of HOW we use digital literacy can make all the difference in the world in how students VIEW digital literacy.  Mandy realizes she has a voice, that her voice is important and that she can speak loudly, whenever she chooses. All because she learned how to blog.

How do you use digital literacy with your students? Have you noticed a change in your introverted students since teaching them  to use digital tools?

8 Comments

  1. Katie Jean says:

    Hi there, thanks for writing that post. I am introverted myself, but this has given me an idea of how to work with one of my students I have been struggling with. Thanks 🙂

    Katie

  2. This is an amazing post. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. It just goes to show the power of social media in the classroom. Very cool. I have seen this myself and is well very profound.

  3. Reblogged this on EDTC 5310 Blog and commented:
    I agree the quiet ones would greatly gain from this new technology, just have to let them post whatever comes and let them express, but in my line of work we have to block all external content that there has to be a place where we can accommodate their needs

  4. Kirsten says:

    What a lovely story of a child finding their voice. I too have noticed how powerful the experience of blogging can be for children who are often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of a classroom, for a variety of reasons. A fear I had as I began to use blogs in my classroom was that it was simply going to follow the same patterns of classroom life – a popularity contest played out in the public eye of the digital world. But I have been pleasantly surprised at how the children have “mixed it up” in terms of who they read and respond to. And I think many of them have been surprised to see who is really shinning in this form.

    1. C.S. Stone says:

      I have found that if I keep us on a topic that is focused, the kids tend to stay on topic and interact with everyone. They’re enjoying it. I am too!

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