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June 2007
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August 2007

Digital Youth Research

Digital Youth Research is a project at UC Berkeley that focuses on the ways in which Gen Y uses technology and has three general objectives:

  • The first objective is to describe kids as active innovators using digital media, rather than as passive consumers of popular culture or academic knowledge.

  • The second objective is to think about the implications of kids innovative cultures for schools and higher education, and engage in a dialogue with educational planners.

  • The third objective is to advise software designers about how to use kids innovative approaches to knowledge and learning in building better software.


This gap between in-school and out-of-school experience represents a gap in children's engagement in learning, a gap in our research and understandings, and a missed opportunity to reenergize public education.

This project works to address this gap with a targeted set of ethnographic investigations into three emergent modes of informal learning that young people are practicing using new media technologies: communication, learning, and play. (via)


Gen Y & Social Networking: It's, like, so not a fad!

Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace: Another "must read" article on social networking and youth by danah boyd. Last week I had the pleasure of attending a presentation that danah and Henry Jenkins gave at the YPulse Mashup. As part of her presentation, danah cited excerpts from this blog essay.

Social Network with Style: MySpace Builds Fashion Community: MySpace revolutionized the music industry and now has its sights set on doing the same for the world of fashion. Launched in January, myspace.com/fashion now has over 50,000 members. They've also struck partnerships with Revlon, Clairol, and InStyle. (via Advertising Age, Registration Required)

Social Networking Reaches Near Full Penetration Among Teens and 'Tweens: A new report by Alloy Media & Marketing found that "96% of tweens and teens have used  social networking technologies, 71% of online tweens and teens connect to a  social network at least once a week." (via Advertising Age, Registration Required)

It's No Secret: Facebook's Allure is its Privacy: As the MySpace generation grows up and moves on to college, career and a personal life, the ability of a social network platform to keep its members secrets is increasingly important. Facebook learned this lesson the hard way when it introduced the "Mini Feed" and "News" features and encountered the ire of the Facebook community. The key to retaining and growing a social network community is to keep their secrets, uhm, secret. (via ITNews)


Schwab Learning: Helping Kids With Learning Difficulties

A few days ago I had the fantastic opportunity to attend the YPulse Mashup '07 in San Francisco. This conference was put together by the amazing and talented Anastastia Goodstein, author of the book Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online as well as the Teen Media blog YPulse.

I'll be posting more about the YPulse Mashup later (sidebar: I have SO much YPulse 411 to blog about--stuff like the brilliant Aseem Badsha of Scriptovia! More on him later...), but in the meantime I couldn't wait to share some excellent resources for parents, teachers and students with learning difficulties.

At the conference I had the pleasure to meet Pearl and Lisa from the Schwab Learning Foundation, a  philanthropic foundation set up by Charles and Helen Schwab dedicated to providing resources, information, and research on learning difficulties. They also have a Spanish language mirror site.

Schwab Learning is chock full of important resources to help parents connect, identify learning difficulties, along with strategies for working with the education system. Be sure to check out the vast collection of videos, books, and articles in their digital library.

In addition, Schwab Learning has developed an online community called Spark Top where children with various types of learning difficulties can connect and discover their "unique ways of learning, develop their strengths and self-esteem, and discover strategies to succeed in and out of school.

Spark Top provides a safe place for kids to interact, share their worries, concerns and successes, and get feedback from kids just like them."

I highly recommend both Schwab Learning and Spark Top to teachers, parents or anyone who works with children with learning challenges. Be sure to check out the SparkTop teachers resources too. There isn't a "one size fits all" learning style. We are complex creatures and we all learn in different ways.

Thanks to Lisa and Pearl for introducing me to the wonderful array of resources they provide to children, parents, and educators. If you have any questions--drop them a line! These are wonderful people who have dedicated their careers to helping children with learning difficulties.

And thanks to Anastasia and Modern Media for putting together such a great conference. I'm already looking forward to next years YPulse Mashup!

Related Resources


AFT Resources for Teaching Darfur

I recently had the privilege of attending the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) conference in Washington D.C. where my colleague Karon Weber and I had the opportunity to present Yahoo! for Teachers at a workshop being held at the 2007 AFT QuEST Conference.

One thing that really struck me was how progressive the AFT is in their approach to teaching as well as their positions on social issues. There were several booths that centered around what the AFT membership could do to support AIDS Advocacy, Genocide Awareness in Darfur, and Democracy in Africa.

"As men and women of conscience and as educators committed to the dignity and worth of all humanity, we have a responsibility to speak out against injustice on behalf of vulnerable and disenfranchised peoples across the globe." ~ 2006 AFT resolution on Opposition to the Genocide in Darfur

The AFT-Africa AIDS Campaign is a multi-country campaign in partnership with African teacher unions to provide resources to fight the spread of this disease. The impact of AIDS in the teaching community is staggering.

"This year in South Africa, more than 1,000 teachers will die of AIDS. In Zimbabwe more than 30 percent of the country's teachers carry the HIV virus. Many school age children have lost a parent to the epidemic. Throughout Africa, the statisics tell a similar story--teachers' lives lost and whole education systems endangered (Source: AFT-Africa AIDS Campaign)."

Here are some of the excellent resources complied by the AFT to help teachers educate their students on issues related to Africa, HIV and AIDS.

Related Resources


Yahoo! Social Media Tour: Scenes from the Road

Yahoo! Teachers 2007: Scenes from the Road

I just thought I'd give you an update on what the Yahoo! Teachers team has been up to the last few hectic weeks!

June 17: We held a Yahoo! Teachers workshop for teachers in the San Jose/Evergreen School District. This was a great event and they were really impressed with Yahoo! Teachers and the Gobbler.

June 22: The entire Yahoo! Teachers team headed to Atlanta to attend NECC 2007! This is the largest educational computing conference in the country and we met teachers from all over the country.

Our booth was jammed packed with teachers wanting to see the Gobbler in action! This was a great week and our first big showing of Yahoo! for Teachers!

We had a great time in Atlanta. Bill's edict is that we "eat local" when we travel. One of the highlights of the trip was our team dinner at Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles. We were a little tired and slap happy, so this made it even more fun.

We had a great bounty of Southern goodness on our table: fried chicken, waffles, collard greens, mac and cheese, fried corn, oh fresh lima beans and of course sweet tea! Being Yahoos, the moment our food arrived we whipped out our cameras so we could Flickr our food before we ate it!

July 2: Off to the windy city! Our Yahoo! Teachers Chicago workshop was held at the University of Chicago. We had a wonderful group of teachers from around Illinois attend the workshop. We also had several teachers from NECC 2007 come to the workshop. We were hoping for an Obama sighting, but sadly we struck out.

One of the most amazing new Yahoo! Teachers drove all the way from Alabama to attend the workshop. Karon and I were floored and honored that she would make that long drive to learn more about Yahoo! for Teachers. Again, we had some terrific projects come out of this workshop.

July 11: The Big Apple welcomed Yahoo! Teachers and we held two workshops at the NYC Yahoo! HQ. This was an amazing cadre of educators from all over the region. Teachers came from Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

We met several educators who are blogging about technology in the classroom and using social media in interesting and innovative ways to support learning in the classroom.

We were also thrilled to have Sue Wright and Greg Crum join us at our NYC workshops. They were great advocates for Yahoo! Teachers and they had a great time meeting colleagues from the other side of the country! Thanks Greg and Sue!

July 13: After a whirlwind couple of days in NYC, Karon and I headed off to Washington D.C. to present Yahoo! for Teachers to the American Federation of Teachers. Our group of teachers hailed from Minnesota, Montana, DC, Virginia and New York.

In fact, we had standing room only and left with a long list of teachers who want to sign up as alpha teachers. We were thrilled to have such a positive reception from the AFT community.

Speaking of the AFT, they have a lot of great resources on their site, including resources to help educators teach about the crisis in Darfur.

July 16: Karon and I headed to San Francisco to attend the YPulse Mashup. This is a conference that focuses around how tweens and teens use technology.

We were thrilled to share Yahoo! Teachers with the Mashup crowd and show how educators can use Yahoo! Teachers to connect with other teachers and gain the skills and confidence they need to use 21st century tools in their classrooms.

We had the honor to meet with Lisa and Pearl from the Schwab Learning Foundation. This is a wonderful organization that provides information and resources to teachers/kids/parents on learning difficulties (LD).

They have a wonderful site, including an online library, full of articles, research and other information to help students with learning difficulties. They have a special site for kids called, SparkTop, where kids with LD can come and connect with other kids

We also presented Ben Wilkoff, a teacher from Denver, Colorado, with the first Yahoo! Teachers/Edutopia Totally Wired Teacher Award. Congrats to Ben!

July 17: Hey Austin! Here we come.......Wendy Heller, Karon and I headed off to Austin to hold a workshop at the University of Texas @ Austin. Wow. Talk about totally wired! The teachers at the Austin workshop were very tech savvy and caught the vision of Yahoo! Teachers in a big, big way.

Then again, everything--including vision--is big in Texas!

All work and no play? No way. While in Austin we checked out the Story of Texas state history museum and tracked down the best BBQ join in Austin. Where? That would be Iron Works. Yum. Yum. Yum.

Where next? That would be San Diego! On Saturday we will be holding our final summer workshop at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego.

We come off this workshop and conference tour with a new found appreciation for all the wonderful educators out there who are striving every day in the classroom to help their students acquire the knowledge and skills they will need to be contributing members of society.
Stay tuned, we are just getting started.......

Cheers!

Derek, Karon and the entire Yahoo! Teachers team

Related Resources


Teacher Hacks: Share What You Know

Teacher Hacks is a wonderful blog written by Jackie, a middle school science teacher and learning consultant. In addition, she is also a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescent Science. Jackie recently attended the Yahoo! Teachers NYC Workshop and is a brilliant, insightful and bleeding edge educator.

Reading blogs is an easy way to "tap into" others knowledge and share what you know. This process-–known as legitimate peripheral participation (LPP)—moves the newcomer deeper into a community of practice leading them closer to acquiring the knowledge and skills required to be an expert.

If you're not already reading Teacher Hacks, why not start?