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Kids and Social Media...It's Personal!

by Wanda Taylor

"By the time they are 2 years old, more than 90% of American kids have an online history." 

"At 5, more than 50% regularly interact with a computer or tablet device, and by 7 or 8, many kids regularly play video games. Teenagers text an average of 3,400 times a month. The fact is, by middle school, our kids today are spending more time with media than with their parents or teachers, and the challenges are vast: from the millions of young people who regret by high school what they've already posted about themselves online to the widely documented rise in cyberbullying to the hypersexualization of female characters in video games." (reported by CNN, May 21, 2012)

 Facebook and 7.5 million kids...

Consumer Reports reported last year that more than 7.5 million American kids under the age of 13 have joined Facebook, which technically requires users to be 13 years old to open an account. No one has any idea of what all of this media and technology use will mean for our kids as they grow up.  How is this happening with parents' consent?  We can only believe that adults are unaware of the dangers that kids face by connecting in a world with predators at a time when they tend to feel "invincible".  Have the "tech talk" with your kids and make sure they understand not to post pictures with identifying addresses, not to use "stalker software" in the name of posting where they physically are at all times, and, most of all, never revealing their personal information.

We cannot say it any better...

Chelsea Clinton and James Steyer have written an awesome article about Kids and Social Meda.  They are currently studying the effects of social media on kids.  They report that "Our new world of digital immersion and multitasking has affected virtually everything from our thought processes and work habits to our capacity for linear thinking and how we feel about ourselves, our friends and even strangers. And it has all happened virtually overnight."

For the complete article, please click here: 

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/21/opinion/clinton-steyer-internet-kids/index.html

We have to do a better job of guiding this process.  Won't you check us out at www.emagine-nation.com or conribute to our crowdfunding campaign at http://campaign.emagine-nation.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Innovate, Collaborate, and Create....It's Personal!

by Wanda Taylor

     Now THIS is what kids can do!

For a long time we have known that kids, when given the opportunity, will collaborate in amazing ways using their imagination, their creativity, and their belief that they can. 

Co-creating Content

Kids are no longer willing to have content delivered to them by teachers attempting to impart their knowledge.  Eistein said, "I have never taught a single student.  I have simply provided the environment for them to learn."  Our roles as educators are changing.  It is our job to facilitate the process, provide the guided exploration, and insure their safety as they co-create content and engage with the learning process....their learning process.

Find out what we're doing...

We are NOT creating just another world or bundling independent applications for kids to play or learn with.  We ARE creating an environment where applications, features, and learning quests are linked together to provide a place for kids to learn, have fun, and get stuff done.

Won't you check it out and be a part of the opportunity?

 http://campaign.emagine-nation.com

 

Cyber-Bullying....It's Still Personal!

by Wanda Taylor

Cyber-Bullying is Very Personal!

Cyber-Bullying has been described as "using computers, cell phones, and other technologies to hurt, scare, or embarrass other people."  It can be overt or it can be extremely subtle to others, though very personal to the victim.

According to BullyingStatics.org, there is a very strong link between bullying and suicide.  "Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC.  For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts.  Over 14% of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7% have attempted it. 10 to 14 year old girls may be at an even higher risk for suicide.  And, according to ABC News, 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying."

What are the symptoms?

  • Giving away personal items and saying goodbye to people.
  • Expressing that they "can't take it anymore".
  • Showing signs of depression, changes in sleep or eating habits, and withdrawal.
  • Excessively looking, and getting upset over, internet posts.
  • Excessive crying or a complete lack of emotion.

What can you do about Cyber-Bullying?

Start by understanding the technology tools that your children use.  Become familiar with how often they use them and how they gain access to them.  Pay attention to what they are saying or not saying.  To do this, you might need to slow your life down enough to engage with your children in ways that promote communication.  Discuss bullying and cyber-bullying.  Make sure that you explain the dangers of the internet.  Be clear with them that they do not ever know who they are actually engaging with in their chats, email, etc.  Just as you would teach them to go to an adult or an adult authority if they were physically being threatened, teach them that the same holds true on the internet.  Take all threats seriously - better to be safe than sorry. Talk to the school and district about their cyber and campus policies about bullying and safety.  And, most important, ASK THEM if it is happening to them or someone they know.

Plenty of Resources to Guide You:

Here are a few links to get you started:

What are we doing at Emagine-Nation.com about Cyber-Bullying?

First, we are an educational resource site for parents, educators, and kids.  Secondly, we take any type of predators seriously and have spent 7 years designing safe browsing and searching, as well as creating very strict social networking features.  We encourage collaboration and engagement within a safe and secure browser and virtual world.

Won't you help us complete this mission...

We would appreciate a donation to help us with this mission.  If you want to see what we're all about, please check out our campaign at http://campaign.emagine-nation.com.  We hope that you will get involved by donating.  In addition, we would appreciate it if you would share this post, our campaign, and our site to stimulate the conversation and education about this topic and others because "it's still very personal."

 

Every 8 seconds it gets very personal!

by Wanda Taylor

"Every 8 seconds during the school year, a public high school student drops out."  State of America's Children Handbook

"Every second and a half during the school year, a public school student receives an out-of-school suspension.  Based on 180 school days of seven hours each, calculations show that 2,923,895 students received one or more out-of-school suspensions."  Hmmm...

So, how is that personal?  

Because in this global economy, we are 6th in per-capita education expenditures but 31st in math scores, 23rd in science scores, and 17th in reading scores.  And, those scores include developing nations! 

How else is it personal?

Because we are 1st in number of billionaires and 1st in number of persons incarcerated.  We are 1st in gross domestic product and 1st in per-capita health expenditures.  We are worst in relative child poverty; worst in adolescent birth rates (ages 15 to 19); worst in divorce rates, worst in lifetime use of cocaine, marijuana, and tobacco; and worst in protecting our children against gun violence.

 So, what's the good news?

We know the statistics.  That's it.  We know the truth, which is the only thing that can set us on another path.  What we do about the statistics is what will define us.  It's not about the numbers, it's about education. 21st century skills are required to keep this nation on a global track.  What are those skills?  Creativity and Innovation; Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Communication and Collaboration; Information Literacy; Media Literacy; ICT Literacy; and Life and Career Skills.  So, the good news?  That's just what we're focused on at Emagine-Nation.com!

Please join use in our quest to bring 21st century skills to our kids.

Please check us out at http://campaign.emagine-nation.com.  Please consider teaching your kids that education and learning don't have to be separate things.  Thanks!!

 

Wanda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Founder's Blog

It's Personal....it's very personal!

by Wanda Taylor

Dear Readers,

We have launched a crowd funding campaign which has led to a lot of insights about human nature.  We have been surprised by the responses we've received and the ones that we have not received.  Friends and family members that we believed would have supported us, haven't.  Friends and those that we don't even really know well have.  We felt that starting the campaign with just $1.00 would give people a chance to give back or to support a worthy cause.  We have been shocked to find that people that we've contributed to in their lives don't even seem to have a dollar to support us or the cause.

So, we asked ourselves, "What in the world is this campaign showing us?"  We know that there are few organizations that really contemplate children's vulnerabilities on the internet, much less spend 7 years looking at the issues around children, the internet, internet safety, and the impact of social media on kids.  So, if the problem seems to be so obvious, why aren't more people, and especially those that we thought cared about causes such as this, or at least cared about the work we do, willing to become a part of the project as a way of doing something to help?

Obviously we can't read minds.  And, as we studied this campaign and reached out for feedback, we came up with a few conclusions such as these:

  • some people care about us but not about what we're doing
  • some people care but don't understand this problem
  • some people understand the problem but really don't care enough to get involved
  • some people care but don't believe they can make a difference
  • some people seem to be apathetic, feel overwhelmed and feel powerless when looking at any problem larger than their immediate life
  • and, some people just don't make the connection

With only 30 days left and $123,567 shy of our goal, we have a steep hill to climb.  Are we going to finish this project?  Yes, we are.  Why?  Because, now that we know what our kids are facing, there is no other choice.  Do we need help?  Yes, we do.  Can you still help?  Yes, you can.  How?  Obviously, we would appreciate a donation since it starts at just $1.00.  And, equally as important is our need for getting some viral information out so that we can speed this conversation up by sharing and sharing and sharing.  Talk about this, if you do not choose to donate.  We don't care if the conversation reflects pleasure or displeasure with our campaign.  Please just talk about the current state that our kids face today.

There is a quote, "all that is required for evil to exist is for good men to do nothing."

For the next 30 days, I will be posting some information about this topic in hopes of making this campaign personal.  I choose to believe in the kindness and generosity in people.  I choose to believe that it's not that people don't care.  It's that they don't understand.  So, my attempt will be to help people understand why this is very personal.

State of America's Children as reported by the Child Defense Fund

Here are just a few facts about "other" people's children in America:

  • There are 16.4 million poor children in rich America, 7.4 million living in extreme poverty. 
  • Children under five are the poorest age group in America.  
  • One in four infants, toddlers and preschoolers are poor during the years of greatest brain development. 
  • A majority of public school students and more than three of four Black and Hispanic children, who will be a majority of our child population by 2019, are unable to read or compute at grade level in the fourth or eighth grade and will be unprepared to succeed in our increasingly competitive global economy."

Why is that personal?  Beyond the obvious, from a humanitarian position, these same children are sitting next to your children, that is unless your child is home schooled or in a private school.  We don't want to say the things that are not politically correct; but, we will anyway. These kids often lack stimulation, or even the basic nutrition, to ensure that their brain is functioning properly and developing as it should.  While kids are enormously resilient, if we all are not telling the truth about this brain drain in America and saying it out loud, it will not be properly addressed.  We know what is required for development; but, we still push the wrong things.  Rote memory is often difficult for kids with short term memory issues and processing deficits.  We require them to memorize stuff that they could look up in a matter of seconds.  We hang on to old values and principles in a paradigm that clearly is broken.  We are requiring that schools offer alternative methods of distance learning; but, we don't prepare students for that.  We talk about kids "going outside and playing more" as we hand them the iPad.  Don't get us wrong.  We are FOR technology.  But, more importantly, we are for understanding how the world has changed, how we should step up and guide their process in that change, and about what creates a healthy connection.  

Over the next 30 days, I will talk to you about the state of our kids in America today; which, of course, includes the state of our educational system.  We hope that you will take this journey, gain more knowledge, and find a way to step in.  Our kids need it.  They need us.  Because, it's very personal.

Thanks for listening.  But, more importantly, thanks for getting involved.

Wanda


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About the author

Wanda Taylor, MCC, is the CEO and creative designer of Emagine-Nation.com. With over 23 years of experience in the world of learning, education, psychology, and technology, Wanda knows the value of curiosity, imagination, and discovery learning.  Follow Wanda and see why she believes that Emagine-Nation changes everything!

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