Friday, September 20, 2013

Why do we blog?
Blogging is a way to connect to those we know as well as to those that we do not. It is a way for us to express ourselves and our opinions. Also, we can learn a lot through blogging in a way that is familiar to us in this day and age. We can learn from others as well as from ourselves. Why should we encourage youth to blog?
We should encourage youth to blog in order to get them comfortable with technology. It is a way that they can express themselves if they are shy and uncomfortable speaking in front of others. Also, it can be used as a learning tool in order to expand their ideas and knowledge base. Beyond that, it is a way for youth to market themselves to outside audiences. This can be helpful when looking for a future career.

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Reflection

Marc Prensky, author of the article Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants argues issues facing our current education system. He believes that students have changed drastically over the years. So much in fact, that he thinks that our brain structures differ from those of previous generations. He calls the “new” students of today Digital Natives while those not born into the digital world are called Digital Immigrants. He discusses the impact of technology on today’s generation and ways to reach them in the classroom. He talks about how the gap between Digital Natives and Immigrants is the reason for the decline of the U.S. education. This is because, according to Prensky, our current educational system has “not been designed to serve today’s students”. The instructors today fall under the Digital Immigrants category as they speak an “outdated language” to us Natives. He discusses different ways to effectively teach this new generation of students from using “edutainment” (combo of education and entertainment) such as computer games to speeding up instruction and using graphics to engage students. He argues that if educators really want to reach out to their students, then they will have to change their out-of-date teaching styles in order to be effective. I agree with this wholeheartedly. It is important that we adapt to our constantly changing environments and teach lessons concerning the past, present, and future. Our best learning is accomplished when the material is fun, relevant, and relate-able. Technology is constantly changing, and it’s time we change with it!

Prensky's article

Child Labor and the Social Construction of Childhood Reflection

After reading the article Child Labor and the Social Construction of Childhood by Gwen Sharp, I couldn’t help but to think about the differences between children of the 1900s to children from today. Back in the day, child labor was common; children were placed in abrasive working conditions and expected to make money in order to help their families make ends meet. Going to work was a priority while going to school came second. As an American born in the 20th century, I can’t help but to feel a bit disturbed by this concept. Though I understand that life was very different in the 1900s compared to today, I feel that children should be able to experience a time in their lives free from the burdens that they will eventually have to go through once they grow and mature. However, this doesn’t mean that I think that children shouldn’t have any sort of responsibilities or obligations. I just believe that it should come in a milder form compared to working in mines and factories.

Additionally, I feel that it’s important to note that children are different from adults in many ways- cognitively, socially, emotionally, and physically. For them to be expected to do some of the same work as adults is a bit ridiculous. Furthermore, it’s crazy to think how different my life could have been if I was born in a different generation. If born in the early 1900s, I probably would have been doing the same type of work as the children in the article. Instead, my childhood was quite different. My main priority was attending school and getting good grades. I was lucky enough to not have to worry about helping my family financially as my parents worked very hard to make sure that my brother and I had everything that we needed. This makes me grateful for the childhood that I did have and so happy to be a 90’s kid.

Sharp's article

About Me

My name is Nina Silva and I am a twenty-two year old student at Rhode Island College. I am currently in my fifth year at RIC in hopes to pursue a degree in Youth Development, with a minor in Psychology. I’ve always loved working with children and thought that this major would give me a great opportunity to reach out to them, in a way that was different from teaching. I hope to positively influence the lives of children and help them to reach their maximum potential. Some experiences that I’ve had with youth include being a childcare counselor, teacher’s assistant, and a babysitter. I hope to learn more about the needs of youth and to use my knowledge to motivate and inspire.