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Showing posts from November, 2012

Mobile learning apps connect with youth

By Carrie Ann Olson

Sometimes it seems as though everywhere you look, people are using their phones. But what are they using them for? The Pew Internet Research Project reports that teen texting volume is up in 2012 while the frequency of voice calling is down. About three-quarters (77%) of teens have a cell phone; one in four say they own smartphones.

American teens on average are sending or receiving 3,339 texts a month, or more than six for every hour they're awake, according to a Nielsen Company report: Calling Yesterday, Texting Today, Using Apps Tomorrow. Although texting is at an all-time high, the largest area of growth was in teen data usage, from 14 MB to 62 MB per month. Almost half of teens surveyed reported using an app 10 times per day -- more frequently than general grooming and eating.

So how are you connecting with this mobile youth society? Do you text? Do you push meeting reminders? Do you have mobile apps that support the topic you are teaching while encourag…

Tips for building right-brain skills for 21st century thinking

By Jennifer Skuza

As we explore what it takes to thrive in the 21st century, it is hard to ignore the growing amount of literature that suggests the right side of the brain is needed more than ever. Right-brain abilities - artistry, empathy, design, big-picture thinking, creating something that the world didn't know was missing -- are hard to outsource or automate and in high demand in workplace and community settings. Left-brain abilities -- the logical, linear, analytical, spreadsheet kind of skills -- are important but not sufficient for success.

So what does this have to do with the field of youth development? The answer is that it is directly related.

Our field plays an important role in helping young people to gain 21st-century learning skills and abilities to thrive in a global world. Here are some tips for building right-brain abilities through the learning environments found in youth programs.

Critique the learning environment

With youth take time to critically reflect…

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to me and to you

By Rebecca Saito

Back in 1966, Aretha Franklin had a big hit song, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Even if you weren't born back then, you probably know it, and maybe, like me, when you hear it, walk around for the rest of the day singing the chorus, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T: find out what it means to me..." The song became a hallmark for the feminist movement in the 1970's and remains relevant today, especially in youth work.

Young people say that respect is vitally important and is something they don't get much of from adults generally, and specifically from teachers, parents, police, and policy-makers.

I would say that a lack of respect seems to be the underlying cause for virtually every societal problem -- youth violence, teen pregnancy, school dropout, discrimination and prejudice against people of various ethnicities, religions and sexual orientation, gangs, bullying, social and civic disengagement and disconnected, and so on.

So why aren't we talking more about the importance …