Open Thinking Wiki

Various Resources compiled by Dr. Alec Couros

Technology & Social Justice


Ideas for the Classroom (brief)

Teachers and students may:
  • use social media (e.g., blogs, wikis, social bookmarks, photo/video sharing) to engage in conversations regarding issues of social justice. There are many tools to get started here or if you'd like an overview of some of these tools, try Message-in-a-Box.
  • set up social networking sites (e.g., Ning) or join existing global/social justice projects, to share and collaborate with other students and teachers from around the globe. Culture awareness projects like Life 'round Here or the Flat Classroom Project are good models.
  • access literature, photographs, videos, and other multimedia resources that will be of great support in teaching and learning. TED Talks, Google Video Documentaries, Flickr (Library of Congress Set,Life Magazine) , Archive.org, Google's Creative Commons Search (under advanced) are great places to start.
  • create stories, podcasts, videos, etc. to share with others and to learn. Take a look at 50 ways to tell a story.
  • learn more about how emerging technologies are dis/empowering people, influencing democratic processes, and changes the way humans communicate and relate to each other.
  • learn more about the big issues regarding technology (e.g., smart mobs, wisdom of crowds, Creative Commons, net neutrality, software patents) as they relate to the power of individuals and groups.
  • understand and be critical of projects, actions, services, or technologies that give the illusion of providing comprehensive solutions to issues of social justice.
  • get connected and involved with people, projects, and events from around the world. Develop a personal learning network that can be in part committed to making change in the world.

General Information & News Sites

Social Justice (Wikipedia Definition)
Centre for Social Justice (Canadian)
Social Justice Site - Ryerson University
Alltop - Slavery (recent, top news posts from top resources on slavery)
EdChange (consulting group for social justice issues)
Pambazuka News (an African news resource for social justice)
Social Justice Movements (wiki of resources from Columbia University)
Tolerance.org (group/resources "dedicated to reducing prejudice")
Rethinking Schools (great resource of social justice and progressive publications)
Smart Mobs and Flash Mobs (important terms for understanding mobile activism)
Rabble.ca (Canadian alternate news resource)
Canada's World (project to get Canadians more involved in crucial, global issues)

SJ Specific Tools. Projects and Examples

One Laptop Per Child Project and Give One Get One (G1G1) (project dedicated to bridging the digital divide)
Kiva (microlending organization)
Village Enterprise Fund (group providing entrepreneurial grants to Africans)
Idealist.org (connector for solving social and environmental problems)
Witness (a global video channel for user-generated, human rights videos)
Change.org (social network with lists of causes and how to support)
EngageMedia (video site for social justice & environmental issues for Australia, Southeast Asia & Pacific)
Free Rice (an online game that donates rice through the UN food program)
Petitions: Taking IT Global (site which organizes petitions)
Eye to Eye with Child Labour (shares photographs and multimedia of child labour situations)
25 Days to Make a Difference (story of Laura, who developed an charity project in memory of her grandfather)
Wiser Earth (social network service for various issues)
Radical Math (resource for integrating social and economic justice issues into the math curriculum)
Reading Across Continents (connecting students across the world via technology and literature)
Global Studies Ning (example of a globalization studies social network, created by Dr. Joyce Valenza)
Protect the Human (popular causes site/network from Amnesty International)
Pangea Day Event (an international event first held May 10, 2008)
iEARN (helps to link schools through international projects)
zyOzy (project for activating youth against extreme poverty)
Facebook Causes (a Facebook application to help support awareness of issues)
Posters for Peace, Social Justice, & the Environment (art project)
Darfur Awareness (classroom project)
Global Issues Club (classroom project)
Psiphon (human rights software project)
Students Against Closures (an example of a student movement to save Edinburg schools )

Issues & Media

TED Talks - see themes culture & globalization - and my favourite w/ Wade Davis.
QuantumShift.tv (social action and citizen journalism)
26 Learning Games to Change the World (list of games with social justice and environmental themes)
All I Need (Radiohead's video against child trafficking)
Lessig on Prop 8 (Lawrence Lessig expertly explains problems with Prop 8 from constitutional perspective)
Nick Lansley on Prop 8 (good example of debate/debunking of those supporting Prop 8)
Free Bob Lovelace (Video) and Background (aboriginal leader jailed for protecting traditional land rights)
Amnesty International - Waterboarding is Torture (graphic commercial)
Amnesty International - Bullet - The Execution (attempts to visualize the importance of petitions)
Amnesty International - Waiting for the Guards (part of unsubscribeme project, graphic)
U.N. Landmine Commercial (disturbing but effective)
Free Hugs (worldwide movement started by Juan Mann)
Frozen Grand Central (example of flash mobs)
Playing for Change, Stand By Me (music project to link artists globally through performance)
Youtube User Respond to DR Congo Crisis (YouTube used to raise awareness of Congo's conflict)
Brenden Foster Story (11 year old boy dies from Leukemia, last wish to help the homeless)
  • Many more useful videos and resources here related to media literacy and representation.

Articles and Reflections

Mobile Phones & Social Activism (Zuckerman)
Virtual Kenyan Classroom (Glogowski)
Designing for Social Justice (Light & Luckin)
Social Networking for Social Change (Trevisan)
Twitter Helps GOP Protestors Organize (Havenstein)