The Middle Man is Gone: You Have a Voice

Another mind shift that is taking place around us and that we need to be aware of in education: the MIDDLE MAN is gone!

The middle man between me and:

  • a global audience
  • information
  • an author
  • an expert
  • eye witnesses and current events
  • the customer service of a company
  • the research and development department
  • software developers

is gone!

This morning, I was working on an infographic in Piktochart. I really wanted a puzzle piece icon to use as part of my infographic. Piktochart has the icons arranged in categories (entertainment, people, shapes, etc.) It was not very efficient to go through each one of the categories to see if a puzzle piece was present.

A quick tweet went out to see if I could catch @piktochart’s attention. Not even 3 hours (!!) later, I received a response…

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My wish was granted and magically the search box for icons appeared! Thank you Piktochart!

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It could not have come at a better moment, as I was working with a 7th grade Geography class, who had been working on creating their own infographics in Piktochart. They were in awe to see that Piktochart had responded and  they were eager to continue creating their data stories to then share them on their blogfolios, write a reflection and review of the creation process, knowing that there was an audience.

I felt that the time spent to make this process (workflow) of writing, tweeting, documenting, strategically disseminating was valuable for students. They learned:

  • about Twitter grammar (mention @username to catch someone’s attention)
  • they have a DIRECT VOICE (that understanding is part of network literacy for our students)
  • about the importance of a company’s social network presence (and response)
  • their role in research and development (and marketing) for a web based company

Our generation did NOT grow up with the notion, that we can directly be in contact. There was always a middle man. A newspaper editor, a publishing company, an agent, a representative… That middle man is no longer….Let’s teach our students be aware of and USE their direct voice for action!