Over the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to see two great examples of the power of the internet in action:
1) The SOPA/PIPA blackout
2) The Elsevier petition
The first resulted in the removal of support by a large number of congresspersons from their respective legislation and the second resulted in Elsevier withdrawing their support from the Research Works Act. I think it’s important that we share these events with our students and remind them that the power to create change doesn’t just originate with elected officials and tenured professors, but can come from them. As students, they can still have a say in how we treat the “big issues” through blogging, posting, facebooking, etc. and these actions can add up to have big consequences.
We tend to see blogging/facebooking/etc. as something very small scope, and treat it that way in our conversations to students. What we should be telling them is that you don’t have to blog a new cure for cancer or a dramatic reinterpretation of Shakespeare. What you do need to do is post about the issues that matter to you, because chances are a few hundred thousand other students may share your concerns.