Sunday, January 18, 2015

Brainstorm First, then Do Something

On Thursday of this past week my 21st Century Communication class presented their first projects. This project took only a few days and oriented them with the features and layout of the class. After the presentations took place we began discussing the concept behind the next project, which I cleverly call the Online Ethics, Etiquette & Bullying project. (Fascinating, right?) The thing that the previous classes have all liked about this project, however, is that I lecture very minimally and allow them to come up with the online behaviors they are most concerned with altering in the next generation. This semester, however, things went a little differently...

We started by considering the contrasting uses of social media between their generation and mine. They were shocked to learn that most of their social networks didn't even exist when social media rose to popularity, and it was interesting comparing uses. Best example:

My generation began using Twitter to share information, typically including a link, to some kind of news or pop culture event/item. Also, hashtags were almost isolated to being universal, widely-used, and searchable.

Their generation uses Twitter to have conversations with one another and to post random tidbits about their daily lives. Even they agreed - who care!? Their use of hashtags is primarily to comment on the words within the tweet. A perfect example we discussed was #sorrynotsorry.

However, before we could finish our comparison chart a few students began adamantly sharing concerns for the next generation that go much further and deeper than social media, though they apply there too. The farthest we got in our discussion, which extended through Friday's class, was how parents expect morals to occur naturally and lack of importance of education and faith/religion.

Color me shocked. And thrilled!

Sadly the bell rang before we could get too far, but I can honestly say I'm beyond excited to continue this discussion on Monday. Thankfully before the bell rang I was able to leave them with one thought:

I asked, "How many of you have a serious concern for the next generation?" Every hand but one or two went up.

I asked, "What are you doing about?" This question was met with silence.

Here's hoping we can come up with an action plan ASAP.

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