Tag Archives: Henry Jenkins

How should we teach about the internet?

23 Feb

Who makes up the Internet? Well more than half of American teens do. According to Henry Jenkins author of Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture, “ more than half of all American teens and 57 percent of teens who use the Internet- could be considered media creators. For the purpose of the study, a media creator is someone who has created a blog of Web page; posted original artworks, photography, stories, or videos online; or remixed online content into their own new creations.” I bet you didn’t know that most of the people out there are media creators. Even though the youth is the one controlling the Internet it does not mean they know how to use it, or if they do know how to use it, it does not mean they know how to use it properly.
First let me say that computers can help us learn and enhance our learning. For the people who are less fortunate, shouldn’t they be able to enhance their learning too? Most of the big cities in the United States allow for free Internet access. “We believe that our public school children should be-their families have to be connected or else they will fall behind, and, in many cases never catch up” (Jenkins 16) We have to make sure that we are educated properly. This does not mean block all students from every website because you think they can not handle it. No it means teach them how, because they are going to get to it eventually. Yes we should teach people how to type and do easy computer tasks, but we should also teach how to deal with the Internet.
The Internet is a scary place. For me to post this blog is a scary thought, not knowing if someone is going to say something hurtful. The Internet is a place where people can hide and be someone else, which could turn out very bad. Henry Jenkins says that when you write on a school news paper there are ethics involved. Adults are watching your every move and making sure what you put out is appropriate. Who are the “adults” on the Internet? Many teenagers need to realize that “Their writing is much more open to the public and can have more far-reaching consequences. Young people are creating new modes of expression that are poorly understood by adults, and as a result they receive little to no guidance or supervision” ( Jenkins 25). Now, again this does not mean you must shut out teens and pre-teens from the Internet. This means that we must teach them and guide them to what is right and wrong, and hope they listen. Today, many teenagers are dealing with cyber bullying, pretenders, and virtual reality avatars. Jenkins says that “One important goal of media education should be to encourage young people to become More reflective about the ethical choices they make as participants and communicators and about the impact they have on others” (26)
We have come along way from the picture of the computer that I have posted. We are still moving at a very swift pace into the future of technologies. We can not hide them, and pretend they are not their. We must face them and use them to our advantage. The place to start is with the younger generations. The schools should not be telling them they can not go on social networks but telling them how to be safe on them. The video I have posted is a presentation from Adam Bellow. He talks about how we should not be afraid of technology but how we should embrace teaching it. I think this is a great video that ties into the theme of the blog seeing as it is run by future educators.

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