Tuesday, October 29, 2013

To Sleep, or To Be Sad?

Okay, now there's medical research being done all the time, but this particular study really got me thinking.

New study offers evidence of a link between staying up late and risk of depression 

So how many teenagers have been diagnosed with depression? Seems like most of them. However, they're staying up late pretty much every day. Sometimes voluntarily, sometimes because life requires it of them. But we're also dismissing it as average teen behavior. I've read many, many times about how the average circadian rhythm for a teen involves late nights and sleeping in, so how does this all figure together? They naturally stay up late and sleep late, but those same habits are increasing the risk of depression? I don't quite know what to think about all that, but I do think it's worth some serious consideration. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

So Much Information!

Okay, so wow. There has been a ton of interesting stuff in the news lately. I've been able to share it with  many of my students, but it's just impossible to go over everything with all of them. Therefore - on the blog it goes.

For Everyone
Sexting, Shame and Suicide was published in Rolling Stone just two days ago. It is incredibly long, but I read almost all of it. It's just terrible. Plus, it puts a new light on sexting. It's so commonly thought of as people intentionally sending provocative photos of themselves. But this article brings awareness to the risks of abuse being used for sexting. It tells the story of Audrie Pott, high school student, who drank until she passed out and was then abused by high school boys who photographed their acts and then shared them with their peers. As indicated by the headline, Pott committed suicide.

High School Binge Drinking was published in the Huffington Post on Sept. 16. It reveals that 20% of high school seniors have consumed five+ alcoholic beverages in a row, thus participating in binge drinking. Now, when I shared this, in my opinion shocking, fact with a colleague she said she thought the percent would be higher. But she misunderstood, that's not a stat for drinking, but for binge drinking! Five plus drinks in a row! So incredibly sad.

For Student Journalists
Me: "Guess who's on tour!"
Students: *crickets*
Me: "Someone I care about..."
Student 1: "The Backstreet Boys...?"
Me: *sigh* "No, Mary Beth Tinker!"
Students: *crickets*

Okay, so even if they've forgotten who she is, the remember her actions, and I'm so excited about her tour. Yay First Amendment! Plus, the tour ends at Blue Valley West High School. Talk about local!

Mary Beth Tinker, Plaintiff in School Speech Case, Going on Tour

Next up is an advertising switch that is affecting the livelihood of journalism. Watch out!
Storytelling Ads May Be Journalism's New Peril

Major update in the world - The New York Times updated their font.
The New Yorker Spruces Up a Stalwart of Print, Subtly

For 21st Century Communication Students
And you think you can't learn anything from the Internet! It's a lot more reliable than when I was growing up, and chock full of catty goodness.
50 Fascinating Facts We Learned from the Internet 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Amusement & Cursive Handwriting

Today I have two images I've recently come across that I'd love to share. The first is photographed out of Real Simple and is not only pretty, but justification for why I make my freshmen hand write for three minutes every academic day of their freshmen lives.

They never believe me about how basically and essentially good it is for their brains, but it is! So keep writing folks!

The second is just a beautiful mini-poster that came out the September YA Newsletter from Goodreads. Don't you just love those people over at Goodreads? I do.

I love that art, that sentiment and that author. Well done Goodreads people!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Miss Manners Goes Digital

The first major project my 21st Century Communication students complete regards online safety, bullying, etiquette, etc. So, even though this is a little late in the semester, I can't help when I find these awesome things!

The Complete Guide to Twitter Etiquette is exactly what is sounds like, and man do we need it! Thank you Mashable...again. I've been telling kids all year, and even last year, about the transformation of Twitter from 2007 to now. From sharing links to sharing what you're eating...doing...thinking...boring! From one generation to another. And can I just give a shout out to the decreasing gap between generations? I think it used to be 8-10 years, now it's more like 3. Whoa.

Then there's 20 Things Your Most Annoying Friends Do on Facebook. I think we've all seen these, hated/judged/been annoyed by these, and considered unfriending these. Or at the least removing them from your news feed. Isn't that a delightful option?

Here's to finding a little decorum wherever you go. Happy surfing friends!

Monday, October 7, 2013

When It All Comes Together

Quite awesomely, a few days after my student began researching innovations and inventions specific to certain time frames in history, I came across two great and relevant articles. Thank you Feedly!

10 Innovations Poised to Change Sustainable Industries is perfect for students researching things currently being researched but not yet released, which is their last category of research. 

The Right Ingredients for Innovation is an article dealing with motivating people and encouraging people to be more innovative. This is a specific area my students are expected to address in their opinion-based section of their project. I think it's the most challenge question I pose. I feel that way because every single teaching day of my life I struggle to help students solve their own problems and/or to create solutions with what they have. It's hard! On both sides!

In the meantime, here's an amusing cartoon about innovation I put on the board last week -