Extracurricular Empowerment

I watched the Ted Talk Extracurricular Empowerment by Scott McLeod. I was amazed at the story of a “young foodie” named Martha. Martha was not particularly happy with the quality of food she was getting at school. She made a blog and started posting pictures of her lunches. She rated the meal on the “food-o-meter”, health rating, and pieces of hair. Before long she had thousands of followers. Other students from different countries sent her pictures of their lunches to compare. Shortly after that, Marthas blog got national attention. Her blog was shedding light on a huge problem- the quality of school lunches. I remember thinking that school lunches were pretty terrible all through elementary and middle school. I wish I had thought of a way to shed some light on the situation. Eventually the school board looked into the problem and worked to provide students with more appealing and healthier lunches.

The thing I found the most shocking was what happened right before the school board decided to review the quality of the lunches. They tried to shut Martha up by telling her she was no longer allowed to take pictures of the school lunches. Adults often seem to think that they can force a child into being quiet. Luckily, Martha had the internet followers backing her. Its amazing to me how as an elementary student she was able to use her followers and the internet to make them change their minds. and eventually change the quality of school lunches.

Although this Ted Talk discusses a number a children who have done amazing things with technology, I don’t think its the norm. Even with access to technology, most students would still not being making any huge contribution to society. I don’t think that’s a reason not to provide students with technology though. I do however think that if students are given the right tools and something meaningful to work on, they would learn a great deal from it. They may not actually make a huge contribution to their communities, but I do think they would personally benefit from it. and as long as they are learning I think thats great.

When I have my own classroom, I have a feeling that I will be learning a great deal about technology from my students. Im sure most of them will know much more about it then I do. I hope that I will still be open to lots of lessons that integrate technology, even though the students will be much more advanced in that area than I.


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