Monday, March 30, 2009

Reference List

Johnson, S. (2005). Everything bad is good for you: How today’s popular culture is

actually making us smarter. New York: Riverhead Books.

Livingstone, S. (2008). Internet literacy: Young people’s negotiation of new online

opportunities. Digital youth, innovation, and the unexpected. (T. McPherson

Ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Palfrey, John. Gasser, Urs. Born Digital: Understanding the firs generation of digital natives.

McPherson, T. (2008). A rule set for the future. Digital youth, innovation, and the

unexpected. (T. McPherson Ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Here it is!

Welcome to My Blog!
I added a bunch of 'youth relevent' gadgets to my blogg for your toggeling pleasure! Enjoy!

The Changing of Texts By Young Adults

Young adults change and create alternative texts every day. Here is a list of some of the ways:

  • Rave Culture: Youth become a part of the scene, whether it is becoming a DJ, Promoter, or Producer they can all actively take part in the scene.
  • Text Messaging: Youth have created their own language using short hand and abbreviations such as LOL, BRB, AFK etc.
  • Google: Youth can create websites that go on google, check out web pages and make them rank higher on the search list etc. (although I don't think this was addressed in class)
  • Japanese Animation and Manga: Young Adults are creating their own

WHO are young people today?

This is a tough question to answer and I honestly don't think there is one. "Who" are they? Well THEY don't even know who they are so how can we answer it for them?

What I do know is that youth today are spoiled even if they don't think they are. I'll be honest; my generation was pretty spoiled too. (Please refer to the video I posted a few posts below from a Conan O'brian show to see what I mean)

Teenagers think the world revolves around them; and why not, they are the future aren't they?

They are "Digital Natives" (Gasser, Palfrey). They expect that things should happen immediately, like text messaging, instant dinners that you just add to a skillet and stir, e-mail replies etc. They are no longer patient or satisfied. Is technology to blame? I say yes. I also blame it on what McPherson says is "an increasing commercialization of digital media aimed at youth" (12).

Teenagers are Media Magnets…they want to be Cool and in order to be cool they have to have the latest things... parents these days don't have time to spend with their children because they are working so much (unlike in the 'olden days' when mothers would often stay at home and only the fathers would work), and so they want to make their kids happy. And how do they do this? By buying them things! Especially EXPENSIVE things like the latest phone, blackberry or lap top. Because of this, young adults in today's society don't want to work. And why should they if their parents are buying them whatever they want? Also, Children have more time to spend with their friends or on their computers because they are not filling up their time with an after-school job.

Also, kids today are subjected to so many different things through television and internet that parents can't possibly be able to keep up. Youth may be subjected to difficult issues like rape or drug use and parents are too busy or too naive to know that these subjects are affecting their children. Parents always say things like "oh my daughter is too young for sex" when in reality 12 year olds are sexually active!

Teenagers today control their own lives more than their parents do. They are technologically spoiled (with access to televisions, computers at school if not at home, phones) and unsatisfied. They are ungrateful and bitter. I would argue that teenagers today learn more from their friends then their parents. I would even argue they respect them a lot more, where as in the 1950s children usually highly respected their parents.

However I agree with Gasser and Palfrey, " Just because Digital Natives don't learn things in the same way that their grandparents did does not mean that the way that they are learning s is not as effective" (241). What we as teachers should be focused on, is the concern that they are not learning HOW to use these technologies, about those "who are not learning these sophisticated information-gathering and information-processing skills, or creating things of their own based know that they learn and sharing it with others" (Gasser, Palfrey, 241) . I think that is what is important; teaching kids how to interpret and create these texts.

Brownie Points Text References:

"systems analysis, probability theory, pattern recognition , and -- amazingly enough-- old fashioned patience became indispensable tools for anyne trying to make sense of modern pop culture." (Johnson, 9)

"...the culture is getting more intellectually demanding, not less" (Johnson, 9).

Both Quotes exemplify how young adult culture requires a different kind of young adult literacy and is more intellectually demanding (in a way that is different from past understandings). Proven here:

" forms of online communications that cultivate audience commentary about works of pop culture; changes in the economics of he culture industry that encourage repeat viewing; and deep-seated appetites in the human brain hat seek out reward and intellectual challenge" (Johnson, 11).

Alternative Text

Alternative Text- To me, an alternative text means "Something that can shape the way a person thinks and learns and that can, at the same time, be altered by that same person". Perhaps the last part doesn't need to be there; perhaps it is not critical that alternative texts be shaped by it's learners but I think, in accordance to this class, that is an appropriate definition.

In my project/paper I tried to illustrate this definition of alternative text by introducing a young adult sub-culture which employes it's own rules on its participants. Meaning, that sub-cultures teach youth how to act a certain way, read people a certain way, and interact with both people and technologies in a certain way. To me, a text is something that a person who has specific skills can understand. For example a book is a text because someone who has the skill of reading can interpret it. Furthermore, a computer game is a text because someone who knows the right controls and rules of that game can understand it and play it well/properly.

The presentations on text messaging/cell phones/black berries all talked about these same things and also perhaps forgot to mention a few. As I have said before, there are many programs that can be used through a cellular phone/black berrie by using text messaging that can help students learn. But the cell phone itself is something that a person needs to LEARN how to use by learning the controls and programs on the machine. Furthermore, text messaging requires a person to be able to use the proper numbers on the key pad, and in some cases, they need to be able to understand 'youth lingo' such as brb or cyl8r.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hilarious Video

This is a video addressing technology and youth today that I thought was hilarious:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Me, Myself, and I-nternet

I am a "Digital Native". As I stated before, I have been using the internet since I discovered it at my mothers work at the age of 6 and printed off pages and pages of pictures and articles regarding the television show THE SIMPSONS. From then on, I was hooked. By grade 7 I was a 'master' of HTML and had a few of my own web pages hosted, for free, and without adds, at various host websites. I had become apart of a community of young adult webpage makers. There were a bunch of us, and the better we got the better hosting we got. The point was: To make webpages, add a guest book, and create images using paintshop pro to make the webspaces attractive. My website became popular enough that I was invited to be hosted by a webspace I was envouse of called At the time, I honestly felt like there were only about 100 of us young adult web designers and that we were all connected some how. We often had buttons on our pags linking to other peoples websites, the better the website, the more buttons people would put up... there was always a race to see who could get hosted at a better web site. But then, cgi became available and I had no idea how to use it! By grade 9, my web page creation days was over.

Meanwhile, in grade 7, i was introduced to an instant messaging system called ICQ. I had about 5 classmates on their and about 10 'random' people; some of whom were apart of this 'webpage making youth group' that I already spoke about. By grade 9, I had over 50 people from my highschool on my ICQ. ICQ was my main means of contacting people, I became close friends with people I never use to talk to, or would not otherwise get a chance to talk to, as well as, found a deeper connection with some boys. If it wasn't for ICQ, i don't think I would have been with my frist boyfriend: we were able to talk about anything without feeling the other was judging us; face-to-face was a thing of the past and now it was all about pouring your heart out.
Needless to say I was introduced to MSN in grade 9 and finally deleted ICQ in grade 10 due to the fact that you could log on to MSN on ANY computer that had MSN and get all your contacts, where as with ICQ you had to download an online version from a website to use it anywhere.. it was just too 'complicated'.

I could probably write a 2,500 word essay on my internet past so I think I'll stop with the re-cap there. This is my current online life:
- Facebook, I check it at least 6 times a day; I use it for promoting my club nights, talking with friends, posting pictures, making connections
-, I use it to post questions, promote my club night, see what is going on in other peoples lives or around victoria, check out events
- livejournal, I have a livejournal which has been neglected in the last couple of months but I usually do write an entry at least once every two weeks; I also can check up on my friends lives, both near and far, and get all the juicey details
- E-mail: I have a total of 4 E-mail accounts. 1 hotmail (that I've had since I was in grade 6) and 3 gmail, one that was my original gmail which is now spam, 1 that is my person e-mail, 1 that is for my promotion company
-, I am attempting to come out of web page retirement and make a web space for my promotion company. Wish me luck!

Inspiration: Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms

After reading this weeks article I found a few questions I would like to answer:

How do we need to rethink our ideas of literacy when we must prepare our students to become not only readers and writers, but editors and collaborators and publishers as well?

This class has taught me what the 'new' ideas of literacy is. Livingstone addresses three different types of Literacy: "Literacy is a form of knowledge with clear continuities across communicative forms (print, audiovisual, interpersonal, digital)." "... a situated form of knowing that bridges individual skill and social practices that is enabled (or impeded) by (unequally distributed) economic, cultural, and social resources (or capital)." "...comprises a set of culturally regulated competences encompassing both that which is normatively valued and that which is disapproved or transgressive" (Livingstone, 106). Literacy doesn't just mean being able to read books anymore, it means to be able to understand the concepts that are in front of you.

What we, as educators, need to identify is that students may not know how to properly utilize the internet as a legitimate education tool, like Tara McPherson addresses in her article A Rule Set for the Future. I believe it is important for teachers to understand the ways in which students utilize their internet, from social networks (facebook, myspace etc.), to bloggs, to wiki's, I believe it is important that educators stop turning their backs on this technology and try to understand it better. And more importantly, understand it the same was as their students do. If teachers can keep in touch with the technological advances of the Internet, then they can inform their students and direct them to appropriate programs or websites that may help in their studies.

I started using the internet when I was in grade 6. And since then, I have always used it as my primary source of research. As a University student, I am now first to search on Jstore or other online sources, when doing research projects. I find that using the internet is much easier then going to my local library and trying to search for the right book. And even when you find what you think is 'the right book' you have to READ the entire thing just to get a few quotes to back up your thesis. Instead, I prefer to go online and read short papers on my topic. I feel that highschool students feel the same way, and it is important for teachers to understand that we are living in a quick-fix, fast-paced world and so our students need to learn how to research properly.

How can we as learners begin to take advantage of the opportunities these tools present, so we may understand more clearly the pedagogies of using them in the classroom?

I think the answer is clear. We need to take part in these same activities that students are, in order to better understand their positives and negatives. Furthermore, we need to learn how to utilize these tools as education tools and understand the value of these applications through the eye of an educator. And finally, we have to TEACH our students how valuable these tools can be and use them within the classroom for instance:

Give students a website to visit. Then get them to edit 4 paragraphs of that website and submit it to the teacher.

Brownie Points Text References:

"Literacy is, fo rTed, part of a social practice, not just a cognitive skill." (Livingstone, 105)