Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I am so happy that I was able to view several of the videos on Listen Up! Many of the videos show a different side of teens rather than the ones that are portrayed and stereotyped as being "bad, alien life form, disrespectful... A lot of the videos that I watched were positive ones, but some were negative as well. They were about topics that are relevant and common in the lives of teenagers. Topics like GLBT, abuse, suicide, school, drinking, and sex are discussed.

I was really enjoying the site until I came across some of the more negative videos. The teens were not being serious about the topic nor where they necessarily teaching something good in the end. This is one that really bothered me, check it out!

These teenage views and thoughts are taken more seriously by the teens that view them (at least I think) because they are not being done by adults. Instead they are from the voices and perspectives of teens. Therefore, teens will want to listen, watch, and learn from them because it seems more like reality to them.

Even there are some negative videos on the site I still enjoyed it. I think that it is a good way for teens to teach others and express themselves. Things like this should be brought up in schools so that many teens can get involved in advocating for real life topics like these.

If I am substitute teaching the teens and need something to do with them, I might mention of do some work with this site. I think that there can be some very good things learned from it.

Off the top of my mind I cannot think of any other site that is exactly like this. I mean there are things like YouTube, but EVERYTHING is on that. I am sure that teens look up other things rather than stuff that is talked about and expressed on the Listen Up! site I am running out of time to search the web now, but I'll doing it another time. This topic/site is interesting and I definitely think it should be talked more about in the WMST350 class.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Listen Up! Youth Media Network Link

Okay.... I tried this site a few times and I cannot get the videos to load for the life of me. But, I read pretty much every piece of text that I could find on the site as well as viewed a few classmates blogs. I might not have been able to get the "real deal" of viewing the site, but I did find some information and was able to see what it is all about.

I found the site to be useful, helpful, and informational. The videos that are posted (but I couldn't see) were ways that teenagers were able to express themselves and speak out. As I read some of the video titles, I thought that they were creative, expressive and unique.

From reading blogs, I was able to read that some of the videos were related to the class readings. This is great and I could see how they could be related simply through the titles. Furthermore, I believe that the site itself relates to the class and themes. It is a site about teenagers, being themselves, representing something they want and believe in, and taking part in the media. I feel as though teenagers should be able to represent themselves in this way. I think that it is good for the mind, body, and other teens to view. Everyone can see different outlooks on various topics (chosen by teens). Although I think that this is good, there might be others (adults) that do not like this or see it as being anything that is "good". These teenagers are brave for wanting to stand out in the way that they do, creating media and having it posted on the computer for others to view.

I hope that we can watch a few of the videos in class so that I can see what it is truly about. :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Project--Teen Interviews


Steph and I met today to work on out project. We were able to complete the following:
--Interview 3 teens
--Compare the answers
--Put together a layout of out presentation
--Discuss and plan the class handout

We are going to continue to work on the project together and alone. We plan to meet next week to put everything together and make sure its good to go!

After the interviews we were shocked by some of the answers. It was interesting to learn about even though I (we) expected some of the answers. Can't wait to teach the class about it. :-)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Henry Jenkins:Discussion: "MySpace and Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA)"

Some things I understand...
Through reading the interview it was hard to keep track of the main point. I had to keep going back and forth thinking about what was trying to be said. It seemed that the only words sticking in my mind were MySpace and Facebook. While reading I could understand all of the controversy that was being brought up about these communication website. Should school allow them, should we teach students about them, are they safe, who should use them.... All of these questions are relevant and important. Unfortunately, not everyone will agree with the same answer and this is what makes it difficult. Yes, I do think there is harm that can happen through the interent, but it can happen anywhere. Teens should be allowed to use the internet including MySpace and Facebook. It allowes them to chat with their friends and stay in touch. Although I think they should be able to use it I think they need to be taught about it first and that parents should monitor it. Parents should most definately take the time to "learn the system" and be able to know what their child is doing.
Some things I don't understand...
>> Why do schools want to take away internet access?
>>Do parents monitor what their children do on internet and the computer?
>>Why do their have to be sick-o's in the world; lurking, searching, and harming those through the internet?
>> The interview relates to Prensky's "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants" article. People of this time are digital natives so of course they are going to encounter in every online aspect that there is.
>> The interview made me think of the MEDIA MATTERS assumption. It stated in the interview that if you did not have MySpace then you don't exist. This shows how important the media is looked at, it is sad, but very true. Teens are sucked into this idea of needing to have the latest things and being vitrually connected to their friends at all times.
Questions/Comments/Points to Share...
>> I think that MySpace and Facebook can be dangerous to those that are younger. It give them a chance to do things like lie about age, be friend with people that they really don't know, and portray themselves as someone that they are not.
>>I absolutely think that schools should educate the students on the do's and don't of these website and the harms that can come from them.
>> I think that teens and other like to use MySpace and Facebook people it makes them feel like everyone else (there can be no outsiders everrrrrr). Also, I think for the younger teens it makes them feel older and more independent. But, they do not realize that there are sick people in the world and what they think might be innocent fun can turn into danger.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Newspaper Articles on Teens

Teens, TEENS, TeEnS...

Article 1: "Confronting Dating Violence by Telling Teens That More Abuse Is Not the Solution"
New York Times, 29 March 2009
This article was both a positive and negative one. It was about teen violence, but it was someone that was explaining it to a group of teenagers; informing them about it. The students seemed as if they were engaged in the speakers (Mrs. Garcia) assembly. She works for Day One, a nonprofit organization that supports those who suffer from teen violence. The speakers goes out to schools and such educating them on what goes one with teen violence, how to get help, and get yourself out of the situation. I enjoyed reading the article. It was nice to see that someone is educating teens about teen violence. Recently I did a project on teen violence and was shocked at the statistics. Hopefully people like Mrs. Garcia and the Day One organization can help teens and stop or at least lower the numbers of teen violence.

Article 2: "Sexting May Place Teens at Legal Risk"
New York Times, 26 March 2009
"One in five teens may be a child pornographer risking life in prison — for the crime of taking and distributing naked pictures of themselves." What is that all about!? This article was discussed a new thing that teens do called, sexting. In other words, the teens take pictures of themselves (naked or semi-naked) and electronically send them to others. Sometimes it gets out of hand, such as s boy that sent a picture to a girl and she sent it to others who sent it to others. In the end the picture reached 300 teens! This like this can get the teens into trouble. "It’s illegal under federal and state child-porn laws to create explicit images of a minor, posses them or distribute them." If caught, the teen could be sentenced and have to register as a sex offender. I did not know about this law until I read the article. Also, I did not know that teens were into this thing of sexting or sending these types of photos to others. Do they seriously think that they will not get sent and sent and sent? The article was shocking, but interesting. If you have a chance, take a look. http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/sexting-may-place-teens-at-legal-risk/?scp=2&sq=article%20on%20teenagers&st=cse

Article 3: "Depression Tests Urged for Teenagers"
New York Times. 29 March 2009
Yet another shocking article... "An influential government-appointed medical panel is urging doctors to perform routine screening on all American teenagers for depression, a step that acknowledges that nearly two million teenagers are affected by this debilitating condition." I never really thought about teens being depressed. But, the more that I think about it I think it's very, very possible. Teens have a tough time living during these years; finding out who and what they are, accepting or rejecting stereotypes, gaining responsibility, facing peer pressure, etc. With all of this and more going on, it is easy to slip into a depression. I think that parents may let it go by simply thinking that their son or daughter "is just being a teen and they will get over it"
"An estimated 6 percent of American teenagers are clinically depressed. Evidence shows that detailed but simple questionnaires can accurately diagnose depression in primary-care settings like a pediatrician’s office." This made me think about a recent situation, a boy I know just committed suicide at age 15. Are teens sometimes crying out for help and we just do not see it or we choose to ignore it? I have heard about teens committing suicide in the past and many say that they never saw it coming, but do we see it? I think that the screenings should be done. Although I do not think I necessarily agree with medicating the teens for pretty much the rest of their lives with medication, I do think that they need help. Hopefully they would be able to function in later years without the medication and not come dependent on it.

All of these articles were about teens, but they were very different from one another. One about educating teens, teens and technology, and teens health. I enjoyed reading the articles and was glad to have learned new things and become more aware.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

L. Greenfield--FAST FORWARD

Some things I understand...
I totally understand where Greenfield is coming from. "Girls look up to Britney and Christina and wear highly sexualized adult clothing in middle school and below. Taking advantage of this point, clothing companies market thong underwear and make-up to pre-teenagers." This is so true! When I substitute teach and see the middle schoolers I am shocked by how they act, what they are wearing, and the words that I can hear them say (the ones they think you don't hear but you really do... teachers hear everything!)
Greenfield brings up the point about name brands. She says that teen don't necessarily have to like in Beverly Hills to want or know what expensive name brands are. People in the media wear them and they can be found all over. I can relate to this...When I was in high school it was the cool thing to wear the expensive Abercrombie cloths, Coach bags, and Tiffany jewelry. These were the "in" things then and you had to have it or you just didn't fit in. These things were marketed in the media and spread to the teens.
No matter how much I read about teens I always learn new things. Some of it is fascinating, shocking, and unbelievable. I can also relate to some of it because I was a teen not too long ago. As much as I want to say that I didn't follow the media, I did. I don't think that I was as "bad" as the teen today, but I was influenced, everyone is! I see the teens of today wearing make-up much earlier than I was, wear very revealing clothing, and acting like pop stars.
Some things I don't understand...
I cannot get why these teens want to grow up so quickly and be someone who they truly are not. I feel like teenagers are losing the concept of being an individual because they only want to look the who they see in the media. If they teens go out looking and acting like this then where are the parents? Some things can be hidden and not so out in the open, but the parents have to understand and see some of the things that their teens are saying and doing.
~Media Matters- Greenfield speaks about how teens take into consideration what they see in the media. They want to be and look just like "those" people.
~Some of the pictures that I was able to look at of hers looks similar to pictures that I have seen before (prom, children/teen looking older than they really are, "high class teens")
~Stereotypes can me made and seen about teens from these pictures. Things that we have discussed in class is talked about by Greenfield. Teens (and children) want to be like what they see. They want to be cool and look fashionable, rich, and older.
Questions/Comments/Points to Share...
~How similar would the pictures have looked if they were taken in other states and not the big state of Cali?
~Why is it that even if the young generation is not exposed to things like the radio and television, they still know songs and t.v shows?
~How do the parents take and interpret their teens when they look older than a teen and want the expensive stuff like Prada, Gucci, and Coach?
~I enjoyed viewing the pictures by Greenfield. Some of them were shocking and surprising to me...the teens look like adults!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sittenfeld Novel

Author and Title:
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Some things I understand...
I enjoyed reading the book and I was able to see the points that the author was making. Even though the story is fiction it felt a little real. The story is about his girl, Lee who is learning about herself. She is learning things like her gender, how to "fit in", and about other stereotypical ideas of things (gender, race, class, etc). The novel shows how hard it can be to be a teenager. Having to grow up and try to find out what is wrong or right, good or bad, and having to face many new obstacles and experiences. I could feel for Lee when I was reading the story... She was being blamed for something that she did not do and had to face her classmates. If I was Lee I would want to crawl under a rock due to all of the things that come up in the novel. Curtis Sittenfeld uses some real life stereotypes and actions in his novel. If it was on the television it would be a "perfect show" just like all of the other media things that are out there.

Some things I don't understand...
-I thought the parts of the novel were a good read, I was not confused by it at all (well at least I think, but I'll find out during class discussion!)
--I had to get used to reading with lots of dialogue, its been a while and sometimes I get side tracked with who is saying what.
---I went online to view the entire book and i viewed the chapter titles. As I looked at the titles I wondered, "what could that be about?" The wondering makes me want to read more because I have some questions that need to be answered.

Connections to other texts or course themes...
- The story relates to the course itself... TEENAGERS. I liked how it was a different way to view and "get a hold" on teenagers.
--I think that it had a relationship with the course them of Teenagers are not some alien life form. Teenagers are people just like children and adults and they deserve respect and should not be so stereotyped.

Questions/Comments/Points to share...
-How do younger generations (teens) feel when they read this novel?
--I enjoyed reading parts of the novel and think that I might read the entire book :)
---I think the story made some good points and it made me think about teenagers and how they are treated or mistreated.