youth voices

2 things:

check out this new article, full of links, from MediaRights:
Generation PRX: Amplifying Youth Voices

also, i've been reading more and more about iPod use in classrooms and college campuses and am wondering about how people have used the these shiny metallic, colorful sound and image boxes in other settings broadly defined as "educational"...?? im particularly interested in thinking more about the use of the photo display function in conjunction with an ongoing project im working on, particularly as the youth are engaged in 'on the fly' comparative analysis of the contrasting images from different parts of town, and the stories they hold.

so many stories... so little time...


fall means...

a lot of things... new colors on the leaves on the trees; the increasing need for a light sweater or jacket; a new grade and the ever-present potential for new friends at school; the new tv season...

for me, all of these things coincided with another very important event, an event that allowed me the privilege of bringing in popsicles to school: my birthday. it is perhaps fitting that with each early september and new school year, i feel a sense of renewal and possibility - after all, according to the calendar, i am a year older. but each year, my birthday also gives me an opportunity to reflect on the years that have passed and whether it's because of my work or my memories, i find myself revisiting my teenage years. not because they were anything remarkable but because so much of who i am today was born in those years then. the shows i watched and the range of other texts i dove into, as well as the experiences i had to navigate no doubt inform what i do now. but how connected am i, really, to my adolescence? and how much is healthy? is there utility to this constant reflection? to reading my old journals? to watching reruns of old tv shows? does this help us better understand "the youth of today" or are we prone to idealistic nostalgia, running the risk of beginning sentences with "when i was young..."?

perhaps we do need to move on, gain distance, and perspective. and maybe this soliloquy is just my way of justifying my growing obsession with teen-targeted media!


katrina and technology

if you or someone you know has space to provide housing for those displaced by hurrican katrina, log on to: http://www.katrinareliefhomes.com

from the "about" page:
Katrinareliefhomes is a completely free site and built around the idea that technology can help to bring those who have, closer to those who need.

i also wonder: what about using mobile laptop labs at the 97+ shelters that have been set up so that people can connect with their missing family members??

what's on tv...

each time i prepare to teach a course, i find myself in the position of negotiating between "existing work in the field" and the real and shifting landscape that is being created from moment to moment. as some of you know, i am scheduled to teach a course titled "tv and (the development of) youth" - the parantheses are my addition... and the readings for the course draw on a variety of sources, including the suggestions made by some of you, including sefton-green, buckingham, etc... however, as i've been watching the tv somewhat obsessively over the past several days, the images of children and youth in the midst of the tragic disaster and displacement that has taken place in the southern united states seem to suggest - demand, really - that they, too, have a place in 'the course.'

reading television images, interpreting them, making sense of them, etc., all seem to be one arc in engaging this broad topic. but what of tv's role in making the identities of youth? what can/should we say and discuss about the use of the television as propaganda? as information? as inciter? as educator?

for what do we rely on the tv? has other media replaced it? or, as i suspect, is the average repertoire of everyday media simply expanding? an unrelated case-in-point: the degree to which episodes of 'dora the explorer' mimic the 'dora' video game environment. what does tv, the web, video games, and the oft-forgotten radio expect and assume about its potential audience?

i'll continue to wrestle with this balance of the exisiting and the now as the course and the semester unfolds, and hopefully will also gain some insight into "what's to come"...