• March 2014

Angela Maiers Takes Us Inside New Literacy and Web 2.0

Award-winning educator Angela Maiers, known for her work in literacy and Web 2.0 technologies, prides herself on challenging educational philosophies and business ethics.

“I strive to reconstruct the thought process of many dated ideologies,” says the alumnus of The University of Iowa with a master’s degree in Educational Supervision and Reading. “I am deeply committed to helping learners understand the transformational power of technology.”

Through her company, Maiers Educational Services, she uses her passion for literacy and technology to discover creative ways to assist schools and organizations in meeting their learning and productivity goals.

Maiers spent 22 years working in elementary, middle school, and university settings as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, coach, special programs facilitator, and professor. Her mission is to elevate the ideas of Choose2Matter—a movement that challenges and inspires students to work collaboratively to develop empathetic and innovative solutions to social problems.

“Students tackle real-world problems and learn the skills needed in today’s world,” explains Maiers, who spread her message at a 2011 TEDxDesMoines talk, entitled “You Matter.”

“I spoke of how these two words can change lives and change our world, if we understand them and we leverage them in the right way,” she explains. “When someone believes that they matter, they see the world in a different light, and behave differently. They approach life and work in a manner that understands that their actions can have a positive impact on the world. Students reacted powerfully to this call to action. They completed jaw-dropping quests to address problems in our world, like building a library in a rural village in Ghana and raising money to build wells for communities without water.”

Choose2Matter was created in response to this reaction.

“It invites the world to make ‘mattering’ a new way of life. It is a call to leadership and an accelerator to connect individuals and communities with a conscience. It combines technology, innovation and mentorship to solve problems that matter. It’s an important opportunity for business, brands, and communities to join forces in the causes and issues most important to those they lead and serve. What has been inspired by students has led to the official launch and creation of Choose2Matter—a crowdsourced, social good community.”

Maiers notes that the movement has been steadily gaining momentum. So far, students in six continents have broadcast their dedication to being leaders who matter by signing the “You Matter Manifesto.”

For the past year and a half, students in more than 1,500 schools and 6,000 classrooms have been asking, answering, and acting on the following questions:

  • What breaks our heart about the world?
  • What are we going to do about it?

“I recently returned from Hutto, TX, where we held a two-day live event with the school district to work on these questions with 6,000 students,” Maiers shares. “We have had the incredible opportunity to hold such live events in a handful of schools to work directly with students and educators on igniting passion to change the world, and we intend to continue bringing this movement into schools across the nation and the world.”

The beauty of the You Matter movement is that it includes everyone, Maiers believes.

“Human beings were created for significance, and the most dangerous feeling they can have is the feeling that they don’t matter,” she says. “That need to feel we matter is something we’re all born with, and that feeling that we don’t matter is a dangerous condition. Numerous research studies show that the feeling that we matter is associated with academic success, healthy self-esteem and self-confidence, and many other factors that contribute to emotional and mental health. Anybody can and should choose to matter.”

This year, Maiers plans to develop more partnerships through Choose2Matter events.

“Schools and communities have stepped in generously to help us create the live events, and with crowdsourcing growing in popularity, we hope to tap into that option more thoroughly in the future,” adds Maiers. “In our mission to liberate genius, there’s never a dull moment and no day is ever the same. I am constantly in awe of the genius and passion I witness on a daily basis as it’s shared by those involved. The Choose2Matter movement is an dynamic, passion-filled adventure.”

Click here to learn more: www.AngelaMaiers.com.

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