Are you involved in Digital Activism?

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With so much technology at our hands, at some point or another, we have been involved in Digital Activism, whether we know it or not. But you might be asking yourself what does Digital Activism mean? According to an article by Arab News, Saad Dosari defines Digital Activism “as the use of Internet tools, especially of social media platforms like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc, to promote certain ideas and gather support around certain causes.”

Getting involved in Digital Activism can be very easy. Lets say one day you decide to open up Twitter to see your new tweets. As you glance at different pages, you noticed a hashtag about rioting on 5th street because Main Street being close for the next two weeks because of construction. You decide to comment on this hashtag, whether negative or positive, and guess what, you have just become a Digital Activist! According to an article by Bill Ferriter, teens are using social media in their activism daily, including at school in a positive way, helping the public. “Our newest cause is a blog designed to raise awareness about the amount of added sugar in the kinds of foods that tweens and teens eat on a daily basis, says Ferriter.” This blog written by Physical Education 12 year old students, offers practical advice to readers on the amount of sugar consumed by some foods. They especially focus on people who are diabetic by making suggestions about their sugar intake. Not only has this class worked on this type of awareness. Previously, they had made videos about the impact poverty is having on lives in the developing world. Clearly, these students are Digital Activist. Personally, I think this activism is very effective. For example, on the blog about sugar intakes, it helps diabetics know how much sugar certain kinds of food contain. But most important of all, “it helps educate people overall about the dangers of sugar.”

 

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Photo CC By: Stian Eikelan

Since I am active on social media, I know that I have been a Digital Activist whether I was aware or not. Many times when I am looking on my Twitter or Facebook account, I come across retweets and shares from friends or other people and I will comment on them. I take a look at it, and if it is something that interest me, I will definitely share it with my friends, and that is how it keeps going around and around. However, at the same time we have to be aware with the information we share. Many times these are events which are happening in other countries. Maybe countries which prohibit the use of social media to shape public opinion, such as China. According to The 6 Activist Functions of Technology article, “In fact, while people in repressive regimes run the risk that their calls to action will be censored (China blocks messages calling for mass “strolling”), people in freer societies face the opposite challenge: there are so many advocacy messages that it is difficult to be heard.” We must remember that not because we are active online, means that we are necessarily safe from predators

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Finally, Digital Activism can be used in many, many ways. And this exactly how young adults, or better known as Teen nominees are using it. These teens use any kind of social media from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube videos, etc. to bring awareness to people in the world who suffer from mental illnesses, are bullied, are anorexic, etc. As I  read the summary of the different finalists, Eleni Bernier’s blog was the one which caught my attention. She created a Twitter account when she found out her best friend and herself were depressed. She decided to use her account to help people all over the world who were also depressed like herself. Not only depressed people does she help, but also people who suffer from suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, self-harm, ect. With her Twitter account she hopes to make a difference int he lives of other people. Bernier’s tweets usually relate to things that affect her or she can relate to.

It is so interesting what the world has come to. Practically, we revolve around technology and social media. Years ago, in order to find information, one actually had to do lots of research here and there. Today, with just the push of a button, we are surrounded with all the information we need. It is crazy to think where we are not, and what it will be like 10 years from today…

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My Independent Learning Project is accomplished…

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Photo CC By: Mayra Pelayo

 

It has been said that when you are having fun, time sure passes by fast. And now that I am done with my Independent Learning Project; crochet, I have to agree with these words. It has been about 2 months since I decided to learn about crochet, and now I am proud to say I have learned something!

When we were given the option in class to choose one project to learn about, I had no idea what to choose. There are so many things out there I would love to learn to do. However, for one reason or another, I ended up deciding to learn to crochet. Being completely novice, finding time, having lots of patience, researching, and finding time to meet with my “teacher” were just some of the obstacles and challenges I faced with this project. Of course, who said learning something for the first time is easy? However, I was up for the challenge, and now I feel proud of myself to say I have created a beautiful crochet headband with a gorgeous pink flower!!!

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Photo CC By: Mayra Pelayo

 

About a month ago, when I last blogged about my Independent Learning Project, I had mentioned in my conclusion, that I really hoped that the next time I blogged it  would be about creating and finishing a crochet flower. Today, I am so excited,happy and proud to announce I did finished my crochet flower, and I even stitched it to the head band as you can see on the picture above. During spring break I could not stop thinking about my crochet flower. So I came to the conclusion that I would start working on it. Previously, I had watched some videos about a crochet flower, so I already had an idea about the steps I would have to follow. But I do have to admit that it looked easier on the video than when I was actually doing it! The first chains were easy to make, however, it was the loops and following steps which made it hard. The bottom picture on the right was the begging of the crochet flower. After many attempts, getting my thread tangled up, doing and undoing, missing the next hole and 3 hours later, I was able to finish my crochet flower; bottom left. I kept staring at it, unable to believe I had created this beautiful piece of art. Since now I am done with this project, I am planning on starting a crochet scarf which it was one of the options at the begging. I bought a beautiful bright pink color which I plan to use.

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Photo CC By: Mayra Pelayo

 

 

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Photo CC By: Mayra Pelayo

 

Flower crochet video

Overall, I have to say this Personal Learning Project has thought me a lot. First of all, being able to make choices is great. I think it is what makes the difference about learning something and how it is view. (Which it is something to keep in mid when we have our own classrooms, to give options to the students). Since I was really enjoying this project, I always looked forward to the next “lesson” and learning experience. I even finished my project way ahead of time and now I am ready to begin the second project. I can definitely relate this project and experiences in my  life that have shaped who I am. I have worked hard in school and have done well, even while holding down three jobs. The struggle and the triumph have made me who I am. Once again I have to proof myself and others that I am capable of this doing this and more…

Digital Citizenship in my eyes…

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How would you define Digital Citizenship? And is it a problem in our current world? Personally, Digital Citizenship is the way we behave online, positive or negative ethics we use, what we share, and pretty much exposing our personal lives or even other people with people all over the world. According to the Digital Citizenship article, it defines Digital Citizenship as the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use. I believe all these Digital Technology available to us is a great resource, but at the same time, how we use it, can also harm us.

As time keeps passing, technology also keeps advancing. And with this, now more than ever, we must teach our children and students to become positive Digital Citizenships. In order to be positive, we must prepare our students to use Digital Citizenship with confidence and as safe as possible. This is precisely why it is so important to teach and encourage students at a young age, that it is very important to keep personal information confidential.

I have been doing some research on what Digital Citizenship is. One article that really got my attention by Craig Badura, “The Digital Citizenship Survival Kit,” thoroughly explains how to keep personal information safe. Most of all, I really like the fact that he uses props;  (padlock, toothbrush, permanent marker, and toothpaste)to represent how to do it and how each works.

  • Padlock= set strong passwords and locks on all digital devices
  • Toothbrush= never share passwords with anyone (parents and teachers are okay)
  • Permanent Marker= everything you put online is permanent and will never be permanently deleted even if you hit the delete button
  • Toothpaste= once the information is posted, it is very hard to “put” it all back

The media environment in which our children are growing is completely different than before. With technology at our finger tips, it makes us feel as if we are invisible to everything and everyone. What I mean by this is that we go and post things about ourselves, or even about other people without realizing how vulnerable this can make us. Below is a video from Youtube, which explains what Digital Citizenship is, and how we can help our students to use it better.

Video on Digital Citizenship

I believe that as future teachers and parents, it is our job to teach our children what is the difference between public and private. Anything and everything we post online will eventually become public, even if our settings are as private. This is precisely why it is very important to be careful with what we say or do online.

 

 

 

 

What you can uncover on the Internet about yourself…

 

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Photo CC By: Mayra Pelayo
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Photo CC By: Mayra Pelayo

WOW, it is just crazy what people/you  can uncover about yourself on the Internet with just the touch of a button. This week for one of our blogs, we were supposed to Google ourselves and see what kind of information we would find about ourselves, and this is what I found about me; Mayra Elizabeth Pelayo.

First of all, I started with Googling Mayra Pelayo. Wow, hundredths of pictures came up of people from different countries such as Mexico, United States, and Philippines just to name a few. Of course, the very first thing I found about me was on Twitter and recent posts I had posted. I also, found a few images from Facebook, but it is obvious that I am more active on Twitter. From what I noticed, my name is found under restaurant services, which it is true, and it actually had the name of the restaurant where I was working at a few months ago.Then, I also found my name and a picture of myself on Plus.google.com  Mayra Pelayo. While I had my name on Google, I decided to click on maps to see if anything would happen. Wow, I was super amazed that it took me directly to my hometown and near the street where I currently reside.

While I was clicking on all the Mayra Pelayo’s I found, I clicked on one. Apparently, t’s from a girl who lives in Florida and she plays soccer at her High School. To be honest, I did take some time to read her article, which it was interesting, Pelayo.

Second of all, I decided to Google my whole name, Mayra Elizabeth Pelayo. What I found here, pretty much left me with my mouth open!!! My brother and I became United States citizens 2 years ago in 2014 . To my big surprise, there was an article from The Sheridan Press about us and other immigrants who also became citizens. It was also super interesting to discover my marriage license from 2014 in a newspaper article, The Sheridan  Presss again.

Finally, if a potential employer was to Google my information, the most obvious and important information he/she will find about me is that I’m a U.S citizen, I’m married, and where I actually live. It’s just crazy and maybe amazing at the same time, all the information one is able to uncover practically about anybody with he touch of a button!

 

 

Literacy in the Digital Age: Reflection

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It is incredible that we are half way through the semester. Time has gone by super fast, and next thing we know, this class, Literacy in the Digital Age, will be over. I have to say this class has been enjoyable, but it has also had its challenges. Technology news has been a weak area for me, and taking this class did make me nervous and I was not sure what to expect other than using “new” technology tools.

Well, I have to say I was wrong, somewhat! Besides using “tools,” we actually got to learn and create various modules such as: creating a twitter account, creating my personal wordpress blog, six-word memoir of my learning life, watch TED Talk videos, create a Vine, learn what is passion based learning, build my Personal Learning Network, and many many more modules. I have to admit I did enjoy  most of them, along with their challenges. However,  the best part, I can incorporate all this modules into my future classroom, which I am very excited to do so…

So far for me the most interesting modules I have enjoyed creating have been: Twitter, WordPress blog, and My Personal project. I have to admit that prior to this class, I did not have a Twitter account. As I had the mentally that it was only to socialize with the world, especially, “famous people” and know about their personal lives. Once I had my Twitter account, it took several weeks for me to explore the page and know what it was all about, where to find things, etc. It is great that this account has only been for educational material which I can share and other people can share with me as well. The WordPress blogs have been great too. I have really enjoyed blogging about new material we have learned in class. And with the WordPress blog, it also incorporates My Personal Project, which I chose to learn how to crochet. I enjoy the fact that we have to blog about our progress, challenges, achievements, etc. I have really enjoyed reading my classmates blogs, and the different projects everyone chose to learn about. All these “social media” are brand new for me. So in order to be able to do my homework, I had to do a research and   learn more about them and how they work.

I know there are many more new material we will be learning in this class. Material which I hope can be of great benefit for us future teachers to help us learn to teach to our students. I also hope that through this class I can become more technologically advance in order to keep up with the pace at which technology is developing…