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  • The Effects of Social Media on Self-Esteem

    Posted by Kathy Surdin on 12/3/2018

    Social Media

     

         Social media is a wonderful vehicle for learning, sharing and exchanging ideas.  But is it also a means to attain validation, attention, popularity, and self-promotion?  Students can be impressionable and easily influenced by their peers.  Those who are not emotionally grounded are especially vulnerable to external influences.

         People generally "like" items without much examination or thought.  This is in deep contrast to the recipients of "likes" who rely on the feedback for instant gratification and validation.  Some students are likely to become obsessed with receiving "likes" for a momentary feeling of euphoria.

         Seeking approval and popularity have always been valued and envied, but through social media, it is much more prevalent as an end to itself.  Traditionally, affirmation resulted from an accomplishment, skill, or expertise in a particular field, not merely from a casual, personal photo.  But now, the goal is to be popular and seek attention.  Moreover, some people attempt dangerous daredevil stunts for shock value and attention seeking purposes, while others are self-referential, displaying how fulfilled and perfect their lives are to the public, whether it is true or not.  Students compare the images they see online to their own lives and often feel inadequate, depressed and lonely.  What constitutes a fulfilled life?  Are we attempting to emulate the envied lives of celebrities?

         We all want young adults to be successful and healthy.  As educators, we can encourage students to develop confidence and self-esteem from within, rather than relying on external measures.  Self-acceptance and realistic perceptions of oneself must be reinforced, nurtured and valued.  The following are resources to help students maintain positive and healthy experiences with social media.

     

         Social Media and Self-Doubt - What we can do to help students build a safe and reasonable relationship with social media.

    • Take social media seriously
      • Make sure to really listen and be careful not to dismiss or minimize students' experiences.
    • Encourage students to think outside the (crop) box
      • Ask what has been cropped or edited out of their peers' "perfect" photos and why.
      • Are their friends really the people they appear to be online?
      • What's the purpose of posting a photo?
      • What is it about getting "likes" that feels good?
      • Does looking at social media affect your mood?
    • Model a healthy response to failure
      • Let students know that failure is part of how we learn to succeed.
      • It's nothing to be ashamed of and encourage them to accept it with grace and try again.
    • Praise (and show) effort
      • Praise students' efforts no matter the outcome.
      • Model your own efforts, especially those that don't end in success.
    • Go on a "social holiday"
      • If you ask your students to unplug, model it as well.
    • Trust people, not pictures
      • Don't rely on social media to know how your students are really doing.
      • Encourage students to talk about their feelings and praise them for reaching out to you.

     

    Social Media's Impact on Self-Esteem

     

     

     

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  • Welcome to CS Week 2018!

    Posted by Ursula Fabiano on 11/27/2018 10:00:00 AM

    Computer Science week is almost in full swing for its 9th year!

    It runs from December 3rd-9th. For those of you who may not know, we celebrate CS Week at this time in honor of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper who was a computing pioneer (December 9, 1906 was her birthday!).

                            gm

    What does this all mean for teachers?
    It’s a time to celebrate and get your students involved with computer science! Don’t worry! It sounds more intimidating than it really is and I’d be glad to walk you through the process!

     

    What is computer science and why should we teach it?
    Computer science is everywhere and a part of almost everything we do! From browsing the web, to posting on Facebook, to ordering from our favorite websites, and playing Fortnite. But, the creator of Code.org can probably answer these questions better than me! Here is his speech from a Tedx event.

     

    To summarize what Hadi had to say:
    Computer science is more than just coding. We need to think about the future of our society and teaching our students computer science better prepares them for their future. We teach students about math, but not all of them become mathematicians, we teach them about biology, but not all of them become biologists. They learn these things to become well rounded.  

     

    Only 35% of schools in the US are teaching computer science and there are currently about 500,000 job openings in this field (with that number steadily rising every year)(“What’s Wrong With This Picture”, 2018). And don’t even get me started on the lack of women in computer science (girls only represent 18% of undergraduate students in computer science as opposed to the 40% that are in the other sciences) (“Girls in IT”, 2018). Why then, would we not teach them about the very thing that is so prevalent in our lives and can open up opportunities for their future?

     

    Are you convinced?

    Ready to dive in head first?

     

    Let’s get started with some basics!

     

    For Computer Science Week, all we ask is that you spend at least an hour with your students doing something related to coding (even though we know there is more to computer science than just coding!). Code.org has several great resources to get started.

     

    Let’s walk through the process!

     

    What to do to prepare:

    • Sign up to host an hour of code at https://hourofcode.com/us#join.
    • Preview the videos and tutorials to see which lessons would be best for your students. Get the link that you will share with the students.
    • If you don’t have access to devices, there are also lessons that you can use. “Unplugged Lessons” don’t require a device and have minimal prep work required.

     

    What to do during:

    • Start by showing students this video. and check out some of the other cool videos that Code.org has on their YouTube channel (subscribe!).
    • Give students some information about computer science. Here are 2 great information sheets: 
      What is CS?
      CS Intro
    • Share the link to the lesson/tutorial (Google Classroom can help!)
    • Let students work in pairs to solve coding errors.
    • Let students work at their own pace for an hour.
    • Supervise and help students as necessary, but have the students ask 3 other classmates for help before they come to you
    • If a student finishes early, they can go to another lesson/tutorial or help other classmates
    • When students finish they will receive a completion certificate that you can print out if desired. You can always pre-print these and write in student names.

    THERE'S MORE!

    Computer Science Week is only one week out of the whole year and we don’t need to wait till next year to teach more computer science. There is a lot we can keep doing to keep the party going!

     

     

    When you give students the opportunity to code you are not only increasing their problem solving and critical thinking skills but you are also preparing them for a successful future. So, join the party and get your students involved with CS!

     

     

     

    References:

    Girls in IT: The Facts. (2018). National Center for Women & Information Technology. Retrieved 27 November 2018, from https://www.ncwit.org/resources/girls-it-facts.


    What's wrong with this picture?. (2018). CSEd Week. Retrieved 27 November 2018, from https://csedweek.org/promote.

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  • Roll Out!

    Posted by Bhavini Patel on 11/12/2018 1:00:00 PM

         Interactive, collaborative learning is a must-have to prepare students for career- and college-readiness. How can you maximize the benefits of collaboration with your classroom? With an upgrade to the ViewSonic interactive flat panel (IFP) displays!

    ViewSonic Viewsonic 2

         ViewSonics have been rolling into primary classrooms at the elementary sites. All elementary sites are receiving a few ViewSonics on campus intended to be used in K-2 classrooms. These offer both teaching and learning benefits for the classrooms. With the ability for students to simultaneously interact with content, and the appeal, accessibility and functionality of a giant tablet. ViewBoard brings added creativity, collaboration, fun and learning to classrooms.  Familiar touch screens make it easy to use for both students and teachers.

         Some additional benefits of using these IFPs are they  allow for interactive capabilities, better touch accuracy, freedom from chords and offer mobility to be able to be moved around the classroom and on campus. Mobility has been an important factor in the ViewBoard’s success throughout the school, along with the added flexibility delivered by the slot-in PC and wireless control.

         Features designed for education make the pre-installed ViewBoard software easy to integrate into any curriculum. The software allows users write, highlight, and edit on top of any content, including the integrated web browser. Teachers can easily pull up content from Wonders and Bridges. Primary teachers can use these IFPs to teach drag and drop activities using Google Slides along with  teaching students how to close read with annotating text. Teachers and students can interact with the free math apps in the Math Learning Center in Bridges. ViewSonics can have a great impact on both engagement and collaboration when used effectively in the classroom. 

     

    Below are links to additional resources:

    ViewBoard Software User Guide

    Bridges Math Apps

    Thinking Maps Templates (Google Slides)

    Word Sorts (Google Slides)

    Word Building (Google Slides)

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