“Hey! Is anybody listening?”
Have you ever said or thought that? From time to time, all of us may feel like our thoughts or concerns are being ignored.
With so much going on around you, it can sometimes seem like an impossible task to make your voice heard above all the “noise” in the world.
Would it surprise you to learn that it may be easier to learn about and have a voice in today’s world than it was just a decade or so ago? In the past, you probably would have needed to make a telephone call or write a letter to your local representative or a newspaper to express an opinion about something important to you.
Today, though, there are many ways you can make your voice heard on a wide variety of topics. Developing technologies, such as the Internet and social media websites, have made widespread communication not only possible but also incredibly easy.
For example, to contact your local representative in Congress, you no longer have to make a phone call or write a letter. Instead, you can send a quick email. Many representatives can also be contacted through social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Check out the Student Aid Alliance’s directory of Congressional social media contacts. Click your state and find out how many different ways you might be able to contact your local representative.
Beyond email and social media websites, though, the Internet offers a powerful platform to make your voice heard. In the past several years, blogs have become a powerful tool for all sorts of people — even kids! — to share their thoughts on whatever subjects are important to them.
To see an example of a blog, check out the official The White House Blog. The term “blog” is a shortened, blended version of the term “web log.”
Blogs got their start as a form of an online diary, where people would share their thoughts and opinions on the world around them. Instead of diarists or journalers, these people are now called “bloggers.”
Blogs are popular because they are easy to use and they allow others to post comments and give feedback on what is posted. This back-and-forth online dialog creates an interactive conversation that can be shared with people around the world with the click of a mouse.
And unlike trading letters back and forth years ago, modern communication is instantaneous, allowing a much faster exchange of ideas than ever before.
In the last 10 years, blogs have grown into a powerful force that helps to shape what’s considered news. Blogs also help people share their opinions with the world. As of February 2011, there were an estimated 156 million public blogs in existence.
If you’re wondering whether kids can use blogs, the answer is “Yes!” Many teachers have started to use blogs as a way of helping their students begin to communicate using modern technology.
Check out these cool classroom blogs:
- Mrs. Hossack’s First Graders
- The KinderKids’ Blog
- The Tillis Tribune
- Learning To Communicate
We bet we know what your favorite blog is, though! It’s Wonderopolis!
Yes, it’s true. Wonderopolis is basically a blog. Each new Wonder of the Day is a blog post. It’s our way of sharing what we’re WONDERing about with you!