Swiftwater Journey

faith, culture, and growing up in a rapidly changing world

Facebook study shows college students paint the story of idealized life February 17, 2010

Filed under: emerging adults,Technology — billmacphee @ 11:44 pm

Facebook study co-authored by Temple professor finds emphasis on college rituals.

“It was really interesting to see the visual worlds that students construct for themselves,” said Mendelson. “It’s an argument to each other of the life they wish for and idealize.”

Also notable was what was missing from the photos: family members, especially older family members, and anything related to academics such as studying or going to class.

“The photos are not about the reality of college, but rather building this idealized college experience,” said Papacharissi.


In Youth Sports, Players Are Playing for Fun – NYTimes.com February 15, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence,Parenting — billmacphee @ 12:16 pm
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In Youth Sports, Players Are Playing for Fun – NYTimes.com.

I like what Mark Hyman writes about kids and sports. The article also mentions Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), whose stated goal is “transforming youth sports so sports can transform youth.”

Kids play sports mostly to have fun, which is easily lost on us parents as we impose our competitive goals on our children. PCA hosts a number of workshops which have helped youth sports organizations become places where kids excel not only at their chosen sport but also in character development.

We claim we are all about character development, but often our drive to see kids excel blurs the lines between our agenda and what is ultimately good for our young athletes. Do you remember the days when you gathered your friends and agreed to meet at the playground after school for a pick up game of football or baseball? No uniforms, no coaches, just choosing sides and playing till the sun went down. Many kids don’t share this memory and feel somewhat uncomfortable organizing a game without some kind of adult initiative.

Youth sports, when run well, produce great good for kids, but adults must be clear about our desired outcomes, and able to self regulate when egos and schedules get over blown. I commend Positive Coaching Alliance to you, but also just scooting kids outside to play once in a while.


The American Freshman | National Norms 2009 February 9, 2010

Filed under: emerging adults — billmacphee @ 10:20 pm
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The American Freshman from the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA

A record number of incoming freshmen expect to participate in volunteer and community service, but how to pay for college tops their concerns.

The 2009 freshman norms are based on the responses of 219,864 first-time, full-time, first-year students at 297 of the nation’s baccalaureate colleges and universities. The data have been statistically adjusted to reflect the responses of the 1.4 million first-time, full-time students entering four-year colleges and universities as firstyear students in 2009.


Frontline: digital_nation – life on the virtual frontier February 3, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence,Parenting,Technology — billmacphee @ 5:57 pm
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Last night I watched with great interest and fascination the PBS documentary that presents an in-depth exploration of what it means to be human in a 21st-century digital world.

Frontline: digital_nation – life on the virtual frontier

This is a great resource for parents, educators, coaches, youth workers, and anyone who cares about not only the way kids are accessing technology, but its impact on all of us. There is a parent quiz helping you discover your digital parenting style. There are also helpful digital workshops for parents and educators. The report is created and produced by award winning Rachel Dretzin, who is joined by commentator Douglas Rushkoff – a leading thinker and writer on the digital revolution.

You can watch the entire show online and also access Rachel Dretzin’s previous documentary, Growing Up Online.

The documentary did not supply many solutions to the very real challenges presented by our digital age, but it did leave two significant suggestions.

  1. It is vital we not fear technology but instead continually ask ourselves a key question: what is the impact technology is having on us, the user?
  2. Second, we must set boundaries for ourselves and our children for when, where, and for how long we will be connected to technology. There is a time to shut it off.