Why u Should b CyberWise!
We are living in exciting times, with access to powerful tools and technologies that enable us to connect, communicate and collaborate with one another like never before. Just take a look at this infographic (“The Biggest Shift Since the Industrial Revolution” created by en.gauge.media) to see what’s changed in just the last five years.
While for many this shift offers exhilarating opportunities, for most the mere thought of keeping up with all these changes is simply overwhelming. And the most overwhelmed ones? Largely parents and educators who are supposed to be guiding the next generation towards this brave new world. This is a difficult task made additionally challenging when you’re still trying to figure out the difference between Twitter and Flickr. According the Kaiser Family Foundation (Rideout, et. al., 2010), the average 8- to 18 year old is spending 7 hours and 38 minutes using media each day, which is more time than they spend in school or with their parents (Common Sense Media, 2011). If we can’t talk to this generation about what it is they spend most of their time doing, then what we have is a pretty serious failure to communicate.
No GrownUp Should Be Left Behind!
So in attempt to bridge this generational digital divide, we just launched www.cyberwise.org , a new website that helps parents and educators understand and use new media tools to invigorate education. Our mission is to provide up-to-date and, hopefully, useful and basic information about digital media. In addition to videos, like the CyberWise Guide to New Media, links, and articles on our site, you can sign up for The CyberWise Weekly in order to get this information sent directly to your email. And if that’s not enough, we also offer The CyberWise Daily which can be sent to your email each day via Twitter.
No Educator Left Behind Either!
In addition to providing credible information on how to integrate media literacy into education safely and wisely, CyberWise is also dedicated to helping educators learn about the actual digital tools, so the heart of our website is what we call our “CyberWise Guides”.
Our CyberTools4Schools page is one-stop-shop that provides Guides not just on how to use digital tools positively and productively, but why. Each Guide includes an introductory Video like the one here and a downloadable PDF (sample page) chock full of insight, research, lesson plans, examples and links to making the most of the various tools (most of them are free!!) available in the marketplace today.
Sorry, No Plastic at our Parties
And, finally, we are also doing presentations both in person and virtually, like our “Tech-Aware” Parties. These are the modern-day equivalent of a Tupperware Party… only instead of going home with new plastic containers, you’ll go home armed with current technological know-how.
CyberWise is a labor of love, dreamt up with another Media Psychology & Social Change M.A. graduate, Cynthia Lieberman, who shares a passion for all the positive possibilities offered by new media and an ardent desire to help prepare young people use these interactive tools confidently and wisely. We’ve learned that in order to do this effectively, we have to start with the grownups!
The best part about CyberWise is that the same tools and technologies we address on our site are what have enabled us to turn our dream into a reality. So please share this blog, this link , or our Facebook page with a grownup you may know who is struggling to keep up with new media. We look forward to helping them Be CyberWise!
Common Sense Media (n.d.). Common sense media education programs. Retrieved from http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators
Rideout, V.J., Foehr, U.G., & Roberts, D.F. (2010). Generation M2: Media in the lives of 8- to 18- year olds. A Kaiser Family Foundation Study. Retrieved October 18, 2010 from http://www.kff.org/entmedia/8010.cfm