Sunday, January 22, 2012

Teenagers Online Behavior: Get Over It

Danah Boyd, a 34 year-old, senior researcher at Microsoft Research, Cambridge, MA, sees no point in limiting young people's access to what's online. She claims that teachers, parents, P.T.A.s, and school administrators need to defer to the social changes happening offline. Teens' online lives merely mirror what they do offline and their developmental stage.

Danah Boyd Image credit: Erik Jacobs for New York Times, 1-22-12
Boyd states, in a Jan. 22, 2012 New York Times article, "Cracking Teenagers' Online Codes of Behavior": Children's ability to roam has basically been destroyed. Letting our children out to bike around the neighborhood is seen as terrifying now, even though by all measures, life is safer for kids today."

Basically, Boyd argues we need to let kids explore online. She claims that online they find information that helps them cope with issues like bullying, depression, and suicide.

As for online sexual predators, Boyd reminds us that kids are more at risk offline. For in fact, most predators are ones the children know: "The vast majority of sex crimes against kids involve someone that the kid trusts, and it's overwhelming a family member." Perhaps, our energies need to be redirected there, and we need to allow children to find advice online from professional counselors--a point that Boyd makes in support of Internet access.

Boyd is a long-time scholar and researcher in the field of youth culture. She holds a degree in computer science from Brown, earned a master's from the Media Lab at M.I.T., and  earned at Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkley, from the School of Information. Boyd can be followed on Twitter. @Zephoria. She also has host of scholarly papers available, where else, but online.

Check the New York Times article. Do you agree with Boyd that we should give teens full access to the Internet? Do you agree it is time to stop blocking sites, some of which may be helpful to teens today? What points in the article ring true? With which do you disagree?

Friday, January 20, 2012

National Writing Project Posts High School Students' Videos

Looking for some examples of videos produced by students that tell us story. Some excellent ones are posted on the National Writing Project site via using Vimeo to post the student examples.

Here is one example.

NWP Resource-Poem from D Filipiak on Vimeo.

Check the site to hear other students tell their story. . Don't forget to return to this blog to post your response. What did you think of the student videos? What ideas did you get for implementing for video technology, movie making, or digital storytelling from watching the videos?

Here are some additional links to find the students' digital stories at the National Writing Project site:

Overcoming Devastation
Obstacles for Dreams
Research Interview (Graffiti)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Creating a Digital Story with Wix

Check this site that features the work of 12th grade students based on their reading of Elie Wiesel's Night. It is just another example of how Web 2.0 tools can be used to feature student work. This project was created with using Wix.

The Art of Witnessing is the name of the project. Here are some screen shots from the project, but use the link The Art of Witnessing to explore further on your own and to take the time to look at the students' work.

After looking through the parts of the online display, including the video about the project, let us know your thoughts about using this form of multimedia to showcase student work. Would you consider using a tool like Wix to create a website like this one? How do you think students will react to using such a tool, or to seeing their work displayed in this way?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Todays Meet

I have posted before on Todays Meet, but came across an interesting use of it today by a middle school teacher and wanted to share his experiences. Please check out his blog posting called Say Something.

The posting is long, but it introduces several critical ideas about teaching, learning from our mistakes, adjusting our strategies, and finally achieving success albeit with some questions.
Picture of Steve Fulton from his blog

Check Steve's comments about his own failings and successes with introducing a "backchannel" and "online chat" when he integrated them into literacy reading activities asking students to engage in online discussions about the book they were reading in class.

If you have some time, roam around further in Steve's blog Teaching with Technology in the Middle, in which he reflects on his classroom experiences. He also has a blog he uses with his students, Mr. Fulton's Language Arts. Here you will find examples of how one teacher uses blogging to keep students current of assignments and course projects.

Also, after reading Steve's blog post Say Something, write a comment to him in the comment box. He will probably appreciate hearing from you.

And don't forget to comment here. What was your response to learning about how Steve was trying to use TodaysMeet in the classroom? Would you consider the tool? If so, how might you use it? Would like to see other examples of its uses?