Monday, March 23, 2009

Hip Hop Wars:Tricia Rose

This article was one of the easier reads we've had in class. It was very enjoyable and interesting for me to read because I listen to Hip Hop very often. Throughout different media outlets I have heard the phrase "hip hop is dead" many times over. To have a woman like Tricia Rose stand up to this phrase and say hip hop, the true culture of hip hop, where hip hop began is not dead but in fact is "gravely ill". With her saying that it gives hope to those that truly think that hip hop may be "dead".

I think the hip-hop that teenagers know isn't the true hip hop. It's the more mainstream, commercial hip-hop that they know and look up to. It's the hip-hop that demeans women and embellishes the sex, drugs and materialistic lifestyle. It's sad because the real hip-hop, the one that talks about political and social issues gets downplayed.

To think about where commercial hip-hop is now and where it is heading, it's a scary thought.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants

This piece was one of the easier reads we've had in class. Marc Prensky does a great job in writing this piece. His use of language makes this piece enjoyable and at the same time educational. It's interesting how he uses "native" and "immigrant" to depict the actuality of differences between the older crowd and the younger, technogically advanced crowd. There was one statement that stood out to me and I'm not quite sure how to respond to it but when he writes "... Digital Immigrants can, and should laugh at ourselves and "our accent"." I don't know if maybe I'm going to far with my thinking...Why would you want to laugh at yourself simply because you don't understand something?? That's the last thing I'd do.

Being that I am a prospective teacher this piece was right up my alley. I have to to agree with the statment that Prensky makes: "Today's students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach". I feel like in many of the school systems, the curriculum or actually the way the curriculum is taught does not match up with the way students learn anymore. When I was in elementary school, we did not have I-pods, cell phones, or the internet; so during those times it was ok, i guess, to lecture to us, have some discussion and then have us regurgitate "everything" we learned or memorized back on a hand-out. However, nowadays with the techonology growing and as Prensky puts it "there is absolutely no going back". There is actually no way of going back...How could you anyway?

Prensky asks a very improtant question in this piece: "Should the D.N students learn the old ways, or should their D.I educators learn the new?" Well my answer to this is have them both learn each other's way. I feel like for the Natives they need to learn the basics without the use of technology and the Immigrants of course would only benefit from becoming friendly with the evergrowing technology. For example, in regards to math, this piece talked about using calculators; which is considered to be technological. Well if the Natives learned computation on their own without the use of calculators, their understanding of the concepts in many of the math problems would be easier for them to understand. Using a calculator for every little math problem shows laziness. Always relying on a calculator doesn't show a complete understanding of a subject matter.

On the other side of this, educators, especially those of an older generation need to come to terms that technology is here to stay and if anything is only getting more complex and an integral part of many of their students' lives. Instead of being afraid or pushing it away, technology should be embraced and intergrated into lessons as well as curriculums. Now, this does not mean technology should be in every single minute of the school day but it should defintely be weaved throughout the day. Nor does this mean your school district should have to buy thousands or maybe even millions of dollars worth of equipment. Technology in the classroom can mean watching a clip on a tv screen or on the internet or even using a power point presentation instead of writing on the chalkboard. Even the simplest forms of techonlogy can make a difference in how well the student reacts to the curriculum; not to mention using techonolgy also gets to alot more learners (e.g visual).

Having had experience in both traditional methods (pre-digital) of teaching as well as unconventional (digital) teaching. I have to say that more kids are interested and more apt to participate when technology is involved.

All in all, education has to keep the students' we are teaching as the focal point. We, as educators have to change with technology. However, we cannot change so much so that we forget how we were taught and the fundamentals and importance of these ways. We have to keep in touch with our technology-savvy students without losing touch on the more traditional ways of teaching; because both are equally very important in educating our future.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Media Literacy

According to Wikipedia, Media Literacy "is the process of accessing, analyzing, evaluating and creating messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres and forms." To go along with this, media literacy gives people the opportunity to question the things they are reading, watching and listening to. Media literacy also gives a reader, viewer, or listener the opportunity to use different types of perspectives in a way that lets them view things "outside of the box".

While searching on Google for this assignment, I found some good websites that stood out to me to help us all gain a better understanding and perspective of what teens nowadays are growing up with in the media. Here are the following websites:

The first one I found on the Media Education Foundation (MEF) website. On this website, I found three pieces that I thought would be great for the use in this class.
  • The first piece talks about media violence and how it is now worst than ever. This piece also shares some facts about media violence. One fact that worried me was that media violence is especially damaging to young children under 8 especially because they cannot tell the difference between real life and fantasy. This one was worrisome because I have 4 nieces and nephews all under this age frame.
  • The second piece was more about how to be a critical media viewer. I feel like this one can be very important for us in this class. For example, one question that we have discussed and have been to asked to focus on throughout this course was: Question why certain messages are consistently present in mainstream media and why others are absent.
  • The third piece is a critical viewing activity; in which suggestions and questions are made to help someone view media with a more critical eye. Once again this would be very helpful for us in this class.
The following website that I found focused more on media literacy from a teacher's perspective and slightly from a parent's perspective. It talks alot about what we focused on in the beginning of the semester with focuses on popular television characters and how kids are being bombarded with ads that may be affecting them.

Media Channel- Advertising and Marketing

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When I was 13....

Geez when I was thirteen...that was ten years ago. I was in the eighth grade I think... I can't quiet remember anything specific happening at this point in time. All i really remember feeling was a sense of akwardness. Between puberty, trying to "find myself" and social life, it was pretty weird. I was trying to adjust to my newly growing body and the different emotions that came with it. Also gaining responsiblity was beginning to set in at this stage...I got to baby sit my little sister (a brat), I was able to walk home by myself, etc. For me thirteen was sort of a blur. I can't remember much like most would.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Talking Points on Christensen

Author and Title: Linda Christensen, Unlearning the myths that bind us

Some things I understand: In this piece I think the message the author is trying to portray is that the ideologies and stereotypes that many of us as adults have instilled in us happens at a very early age, around kindergarten age, or sometimes earlier. And this is because many of the cartoons and movies and even books, for example, portray the "pretty, blond skinny white girl" to be superior to the chubby, "not so pretty" Indian, Asian or African American. And as a result these "young people, unprotected by any intellectual armor hear these stories again and again".

Some things I don't understand:

  • On the top of page 135, I am not quiet sure what the author means when she mentions "factories of cyncism".
Connections to other texts or course themes:
  • The theme or idea of stereotypes and discriminatory ideologies in this piece have been discussed in class with a couple of the activties we've completed.
Questions/Comments/Points to share in class:

  • At the end of the author's lesson, her students started to, it seemed, get frustrated with everything around them that they saw some type of sexism or racism. One student was compelled to ask "don't you ever get tired of analyzing everything?". I think the lesson was great in opening up these student's eyes. However, what would some of them do after the lesson is learned? Will they become frustrated to the point of being careless?