A New Kind of Civic Activism

This week’s lesson on teen activism really struck a cord with me. Not because I am a teenager and not because I’m an activist, I’m neither actually, but because I am currently in a civic engagement course and this is an ongoing debate for political scientists.

Does effecting change online really have any less meaning than if it were offline? The answer should be no. Civic engagement is not declining amongst American citizens, but the methods of doing so are changing. Like, Jim Loughran, head of media and communications for human rights group Front Line Defenders, explains, “Social media enables us to maintain a support and contact base in almost every country in the world.”

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Social media connects more people than any mailing address or weekly organization meeting ever could, but the old timers call this “slacktivism.” Sitting on your butt clicking and typing away isn’t the way to get things done… Or is it? I’m the kind of person that would rather beeline to the dessert table rather than take the long way around the buffet. Online activism is sweet in that regard!

Back in the day, kids from the age of 13-25 (depending on the voting age) were seldom viewed as agents of concern or change. But now, technology has made them heard and the younger cohorts can use these digital tools as avenues to become more civilly engaged at a younger age.

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Angler Update

As promised, this is my excitement filled post on how I caught my very first fish on a fly rod!!

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It was the last day of spring break, and it did not occur without much struggle and heartache and frustration and lots of tears, but I did it!

IMG_0375I told you about my first cast and how awful it was, well this was a catastrophe compared to that. The stream was very narrow and all of the dead bushes and little sprigs of crispy, hard plants all over the bank did not make my job any easier. Plus it was WINDY as all get out, but I did it!

My hook got caught half a billion times, I was sunburnt to a crisp and I got an unbearable migraine afterwards, but I did it!

I was so elated afterwards that I couldn’t wait to get out there and do it again. So, we went as soon as we could which happened to be this last weekend. Saturday was a gorgeous day. I slathered on sunscreen, brought a huge bottle of water, and the confidence that it would only get easier from now on…. I got skunked.FullSizeRender-8

I didn’t even see a fish, let alone catch one. Correction, I saw fish… They were on the end of my boyfriend’s line.

Sunday was a bit colder, but it was more successful. I caught two fish, before my hands felt like they were going to fall off into the pond and become a stocker appetizer.

The first little guy scared me to death for two reasons. 1. I couldn’t believe I caught one so quickly and on the dock all by myself. 2. He had swallowed the hook a-ways and I couldn’t find it to let him go! My boyfriend had to get down into his throat with his vises and pull it out after five minutes of the fish struggling and after five minutes of me crying. But thank heavens, the fish swam away and was perfectly fine!

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The second catch was a bigger one, but it was easier to release. And then I was frozen, exhausted, and petrified from seeing a snake, so we called it a weekend.

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I am so excited to continue this journey and share it with all of you!

Digital Citizenship

Becoming a digital citizen is EASY.

You don’t have to fill out a ton of paperwork, wait for it to process, deal with the postal service, or go to any scheduled appointments! All you have to do to possess digital citizenship, is to monior what you post online. That’s it.

Okay, maybe that isn’t all you have to do.

You should also monitor what you subscribe to, what you view, what you like on Facebook, what you click on, and so on.

Digital citizenship is being cautious in the digital world, and also being active in the community.

As a person with tattoos (regrettable tattoos which are planned to be removed) it is crucial to view your digital activity as a tattoo. Everything you do is permanent and traceable.

This may not seem like a big deal to most, but one wrong click or sarcastic comment can tarnish your digital reputation and can reflect your citizenship outside of the digital world aka the real world.

Your digital tattoos can affect potential employers, congregation membership, scholarships, and friendships.

Another aspect of digital citizenship is manners. Mistaken sarcasm is one thing, but cyber bullying is another. Don’t say mean things online or off!

So whose responsibility is it to make sure that everyone is following the common laws of being a digital citizen? Well, it starts with the User/Blogger/Poster/Facebook Addict etc. Just be respectful and cautious at all times and you should be fine.

Next parents and schools should stress the importance of being responsible online. These talks should include every thing I’ve mentioned above,but also the risk of spam or scammers, privacy settings, and all the other dangers of social media:

Being Creative Every Day

This was my first week on The Daily Create challenge. I hallways went off of the weekly assignments and I sort of went back a few days if I wasn’t keen on the assignment for that day. I feel like it’s alright to take creative license in this challenge, after it was created to fuel creativity. What I learned is that I need to become more tech savvy, which I already knew, but audio, video, and the process of uploading my creates were the most challenging part of the assignments for me. Perhaps I’ll try uploading each assignment on the day it is assigned, rather than saving them all for one blog post… I’m not entirely sure what my plan is yet.

The Creates:

Monday: The Dream Staircase

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Tuesday: The Lesson Plan

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Wednesday: The Arty Blurry Photo

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Thursday: A Poem About Rain

etired men remain worried that I come,

nd they carry me on their tongues.

threat beneath a clouded mouth, and

ear by crops cry.

Friday: Audio for Poem

This cannot be downloaded to my blog without the premium plan for wordpress… And I cannot figure out SoundCloud! So if anyone has any advice on the subject I would really appreciate any help.

Saturday: Sketch of My Favorite Moment of the Week

I caught my first fish on a fly rod!!! Stay tuned for a very excitement filled post!

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Sunday: Junk Mail Art

An origami pinwheel/cat toy

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ds106: Not as technical as it sounds; sort of

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ds106 is not a difficult, technical, secret society of digital robots, it’s actually a quite simple concept of an open course in Digital Storytelling.

The first objective of the Digital Storytelling course is to develop skills in using technology as a tool for networking, sharing, narrating, and creative self-expression.

The second objective is to frame a digital identity wherein you become both a practitioner in and interrogator of new modes of networking.

The third and final objective is to critically examine the digital landscape of communication technologies as emergent narrative forms and genres.

There is no set start date for ds106 and it never has to end either. Every single day new challenges for creating digital storytelling assignments.

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There are five different types of ds106 including: writing, photography, drawing, audio, and video. Personally, the writing, photography and drawing portions should all be relatively easy for me depending on what the exact challenge is. I like to think that I am a decent writer. I can take a pretty artsy photo on instagram. I 838340467_6ceee6924e_ocan draw something well enough that you would know what it’s supposed to be. But I am not an audio or video girl thanks to my social anxiety disorder and hatred of the sound of my own voice.

Regardless, I think that The Daily Create challenge sounds like a fun way to stay on my creative toes and not succumb to the monotony of regular assignments. The assignments are only supposed to take 15-20 minutes each so the pressure for perfection isn’t even an option. Along those same lines, there are “no registrations, no prizes, just a community of people producing art daily” (The Daily Create).