While it may seem like you just wrapped up finals, packed up the classroom and headed for a well-deserved summer break, the (sad) truth is a new semester is right around the corner!
As you sit on that beach, you may be wondering how can you incorporate more project-based learning activities into your course syllabus and grab the attention of your students who, let’s be honest, have the attention span of a gnat.
Findery, is a geo-location based website where anyone can share local knowledge, hidden secrets, stories and information about the world around you. Using Findery, your students (or you!) can annotate places in the real world, leave media rich (YouTube videos, SoundCloud audio, Instagram and your own images) notes tagged to a specific geographic location.
You can even embed Findery notes into your class blog or website or share them via Twitter or on your classroom Facebook or Google+ page.
Findery for Students
Findery is a great way to create a multimedia project for just about any class. Demonstrate your learning by adding notes infused with video, images and text along the paths of your explorations. Ask your classmates to contribute their reflections, narrative feedback and resources on your Findery project through the comments.
Studying community supported agriculture? Investigate and map local food in your area, then leave notes for food sources with commentary on sustainability.
Have writer’s block? Explore the notes in a particular region and build a story around the local knowledge of that place.
If you teach American Literature, create a Set that has Notes with facts, images or videos for books or authors included on your course reading list.
Encourage observation through illustrating places. Go on a sketching excursion and post a note with the picture of your sketch. Tag your notes with #sketchproject to contribute to urban sketching fans on Findery.
Use Findery as a way to create a living history map. Share a picture of your ancestors at the docks in Liverpool with an excerpt from their diary talking about how they feel about leaving England for America.
Share a note with a video clip about the hazards of transatlantic boat travel in the 1800s and include a passage from their diary about the challenges they faced during the journey. Bring your family history to life!
Mobile is having the biggest impact on how college students apportion their screen time. Daily time spent on the computer and watching TV decreased in 2013, while daily time spent with the mobile phone and tablet were up by about 18 minutes each, compared with 2012.
But even if daily time spent watching TV is diminishing, a considerable 60% of college students reported owning a flat-screen TV; and TV viewing was still a major portion of students’ media time, clocking in at 2.8 hours per day. While time spent on the computer or mobile may be higher, activity on these devices can run the gamut—from using a word processing program for schoolwork to making a phone call.
By comparison, when students turn on the TV, it is to watch a program, even if using other devices is a corollary part of the experience.
The study found that eight out of 10 college students reported using a second screen at least a few times a week while watching TV. Only 13% did so less than once a week, or not at all.
The most popular activity students engaged in while watching TV was using Facebook or Twitter, at 63% of respondents. Social TV can be boon to TV marketers and advertisers, but there is always the possibility that social networks are merely distractions from TV content.
Surfing the web was the next most common activity while watching TV, at 58% of respondents, while half also reported playing games. Schoolwork wasn’t completely forgotten while students vegged out in front of the television, though—37% said they did homework or research while watching TV.
And in a sign that the second screen may be an opportunity for TV marketers and advertisers to gain student viewers’ extra attention, about one-quarter of students looked up the TV schedule on a second screen, and about the same percentage shopped. (Source)
In a recent survey, MTV Insights set out to understand the younger end of the Millennial demo, 13-17 year olds, who will soon move into the “sweet spot” of MTV’s core target demographic of 18-24 year olds.
This is a landmark generational study that builds on MTV’s long legacy of deeply understanding their audience, as part of an effort to constantly reinvent ourselves and stay at the bleeding edge of youth culture.
One of the most interesting findings?
Of those who repsonded, 57% reported that they like to take a break from technology to make things with their hands…and 82% agree “when I’m stressed or overwhelmed, I like to stop and just do one thing at a time." As Julia, 17 puts it “When I craft I’m in the zone, it really soothes me."
With social media, crafts & baked goods are granted a “second life" and serve an important function in helping hone one’s personal self-brand. We see teens today even more adept at developing their unique persona from a young age, realizing both the need to stand out to get social media likes and, moreover, showcase a unique side to get noticed in a highly competitive college admission process.
Why are younger Millennials so stressed?
They came of age in an economic downturn, seeing college grads struggling with huge student loan debt and living through a cascade of social media-amplified tragedies like Hurricane Sandy and Sandy Hook. For them, life has always been a 24/7 social media show.
These pragmatic youth are natural preppers in the face of an unpredictable world – whether planning for physically safety in light of violence or prepping for their futures in a more uncertain economic climate.
Accustomed to high school intruder drills, they are always in “exit strategy” mode, withover a third agreeing they “plot out escape plans when in public places, because of events like Sandy Hook.”Although half are scared of violence at school, they seem to have adopted a practical “Keep Calm and Carry On” mentality.
YMs are consciously taking time to self-soothe (a classic coping mechanism from hyper-stimulation) disconnect, de-stress, de-stimulate and control inputs. They “mono-task” and focus on immersive hands-on activities like baking, sewing or crafting. They claim their dependence on social media is overrated: one girl says “My parents Facebook more than I do.”
8 in 10 young Millennials agree that “Sometimes I just need to unplug and enjoy the simple things”
82% agree “when I’m stressed or overwhelmed, I like to stop and just do one thing at a time”
57% like to take a break from technology to make things with their hands
54% of 14-17 year old girls say baking makes them feel less anxious
This is the first generation of “digital latchkey kids.” Though increasingly physically protected by parents, teens’ web behavior is not as closely monitored. But like the Gen X Latchkey Kids who created their own rules and regimes while parents worked, youth today are surprisingly filtering out what’s overwhelming to them online: avoiding certain Youtube videos or sites that they think are gross, inappropriate or disturbing.
They’re slimming down their social networks and finding niche/private places to share in a controlled environment, whether it’s Snapchat or a locked Instagram feed.
Unlike older Millennials who were pioneers in the “Wild West of social media,” today’s teens are “tech homesteaders” – they’re more savvy about how to use the internet, build "gated" groups, "hide in plain view", curate and filter.
The British Council is marking Social Media Day 2013 with a set of five golden rules to help parents and educators keep kids safe on social media.
Every year the British Council engages directly with up to two million children globally, and seven million indirectly through teaching, exams, programmes, and projects. The organisation is committed to keeping children safe and protecting them from all forms of harm and abuse.
Today the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rolled out the biggest changes to the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) since its launch in 1998.
For those of you not familiar with the law, COPPA regulates what information and data can be collected on children under 13.
The regulations relate to all aspects of privacy protection and are intended to give parents complete control over their children’s personal information.
The refreshed COPPA rules take effect on July 1, 2013 and focus largely on the explosion of mobile devices, geolocation, mobile photography, social networking and app use by children under the age of 13.
How you see the world is at the heart of Instagram, turning it into the digital version of high school, complete with its own cliques and cast of characters.
If you think about it, it’s not a surprise. After all, the idea at the heart of the social network is to use photos as a unique expression of your personality.
So when you choose what to capture and how to filter to get the right effect, you’re not just composing a shot, you’re revealing who you are. And like high school, those masterpieces peg you into broad archetypes, creating a Breakfast Club 2.0, if you will, for the 21st century.
Instead of jocks and cheerleaders roaming the halls or the cool clique smoking in the bathroom, you have visionaries, fashionistas, artistes and proud parents, each with their unique slant on the world, as well as hidden neuroses that make them human.
No matter what effect you lean towards or how much you crop, ultimately, you filter your sense of identity through the same lens that started to develop in high school — and it’s what you carry through life, whether you realize it or not.
This week Facebook rolled out a new feature--hashtags!
Similar to other services like
Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, hashtags on Facebook allow you to add
context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion.
Here's a new handout that covers the basics of getting started using hashtags on Facebook, along with a quick look at hashtag privacy. Feel free to share this, and our other (free!) Facebook Education handouts, with your colleagues, parents or youth pastor.
for Educators Guide is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and
German. The guide is a collaboration between myself, Dr. BJ Fogg, Linda Fogg-Phillips and Facebook.
We invite you to join the conversation and share your best
practices for using social media in the classroom with educators from around
the world on our Facebook for Educators Page (http://www.facebook.com/FBforEducators).
Social media and text messaging have assumed a dominant role in communication among adolescent society. And, as common in teenage social environments, these circumstances often involve online teasing and harassing. This has become known as “bullying.”
Delaware state Attorney General, Beau Biden, describes cyber bullying as a communication that “interferes with a student's physical well-being, is threatening or intimidating, or is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it is likely to limit a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational programs of the school.”
According to Delaware Online, the state recently implemented a law enforcing that schools penalize cyber bullying issues the same as they would for incidents that happen within school walls.
Many states have begun to implement similar laws enforcing stricter punishments for those engaged in cyber bullying, and sometimes the victims are not only teens. NPR recently addressed a North Carolina law that was passed to protect teachers against bullying from their students.
A teacher at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School had a student create a fake Twitter account under the teacher's identity, and posted offensive comments. Under new laws, students charged with such offenses could potentially face a month in jail and fines of up to $1,000.00.
The recent International Journal of Technoethics article “Cyberbullying: A Sociological Approach” evaluates the concepts of bullying and cyber bullying and addresses the emerging nature of these occurrences: “Cyberbullying has become a major social concern because it raises questions about the ethical use of technology.
In recent years, this has been the subject of research and information and prevention activities for different groups such as governmental and non-governmental organizations and schools and parents’ associations to protect against the misuse of technology.”
Written by José Neves and Luzia de Oliveira Pinheiro of the University of Minho, Portugal, the article features studies evaluating Portuguese University students in observation and focus groups, interviews, and investigations that aims to explore and define the characteristics of cyberbullying in Portugal.
UK teens have a significant presence online and are at the leading edge of many digital behaviors, according to a survey conducted by Research Now and initiated by K&A BrandResearch.
When UK teens go online—whether via PC or mobile—using search engines to seek out information is their No. 1 activity, in line with the ubiquity of this action among older age groups as well.
The next two most popular activities showed the ways in which teens’ digital priorities may somewhat diverge from older consumers.
Just about 80% of UK teens said they went online to visit social networks. And another seven out of 10 used the internet to listen to music. These responses beat out email, watching video and playing games as teens’ primary digital activities.
Quick. Here's a test: Stand-up straight with your feet together in front of a mirror and look for a space between your upper thighs. If you see a gap, you have the latest body image obsession teen girls are starving themselves to achieve.
The 'thigh gap', as it is known, is a new teen girl obsession with a huge following on social media sites like Tumblr, YouTube and Instagram.
The trend is fueled by digital media and magazines that feature celebrities with the elusive 'thigh gap'---which is, in most cases, the work of a highly skilled Photoshop guru and not so much based on reality.
Exposure to this dangerous body image trend is just an app click away---girls can read tweets from Supermodel Cara Delevingne about her thigh gap on Twitter or scroll through thousands of thigh gaps on Tumblr with images of ultrathin women in bikinis, super short skirts, and lingerie, all baring thighs so thin they don't touch.
Whether or not this is a widespread trend or just a blip across teen culture is yet to be seen. However, this is another example of where parents, teachers and youth pastors need to step-in and faciliate a discussion about body image, social media and celebrity culture with their kids.
And remember, body image issues aren't just a 'teen girl' issue.
There is a chance that you are reading this post on a tablet or smartphone. In fact, you might even be dividing your attention between these words and a nearby TV or laptop. If that’s the case, you are in good company.
According to an infographic created and sponsored by Uberflip, 81% of Americans use a smartphone and watch TV simultaneously. The biggest use of the second screen appears to be social networking, and watching TV, it’s easy enough to see networks strive to make the connection.
Nearly every reality show has related hashtags flash by occasionally, encouraging viewers to weigh in on Twitter, which is the biggest drivers of social TV, with 33% of users tweeting about it last June. (via)