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.


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.

Generation M2 – media for 8-18 year olds January 21, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence,Technology — billmacphee @ 12:39 pm
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The Kaiser Family Foundation has just released their new and long-anticipated report on the use of media by teenagers. It is a load to wade through but Anne Collier has given us a sharp summary and a caution about its findings.

Major study on youth & media: Let’s take a closer look.

Also, check out Meredith’s take from her really great site, Ypulse.

Get the full report and other documents here: Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds.


School spirit is still alive, it’s just changing December 24, 2009

Filed under: Adolescence,Technology — billmacphee @ 9:36 am
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School spirit is alive at Shorewood High School in the state of Washington. Their spirit is impressive and the result is really fun. Kudos to their film teacher who helped most of the school join together and collaborate in a creative way.


Digital Technology is Changing Us [everything] November 28, 2009

Filed under: Technology — billmacphee @ 4:50 pm
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Dr. Michael Wesch teaches at Kansas State University and is teaching us about participatory media.

I recommend two videos as starters – these are outstanding lessons on how digital technology is changing the way we learn and relate to one another.

The Machine is Us/ing Us [Final Version]

An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube – this one requires about 55 minutes but it is worth your time.




Leonard Kleinrock: Mr. Internet — latimes.com October 24, 2009

Filed under: Adolescence,Technology — billmacphee @ 11:30 am
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Leonard Kleinrock: Mr. Internet — latimes.com.

One of the “true” fathers of the Internet makes an insightful observation about the downside of the Internet:

Kids have retreated out of the physical world into the cyber world. It gives them a larger reach, [but] they’re not getting out in the sun, playing with other kids and looking in their eyes and watching their body language as much as they used to, which I think is a shame and can create a kind of indifference in the way in which you deal with your peers. Excesses include things like notifying your significant other [by computer] that you’re no longer significant to them.

I resonate with his lament that we [not just kids] look into one another’s eyes and observe body language less carefully and intentionally. Communicating through texting is revolutionary, efficient, and to be used. But take time to do some non-judgmental yet careful observation of yourself and others as you pay attention to the tiny screen in your hands. Do our conversations with those physically present often or regularly get interrupted by the diversion of our eyes to the email, text, or call? Mine do, and I’m trying to be more present and aware.