While we often here complaints about the many delinquent and criminal activities youths in the inner city are accused of or involved in. We very seldomly hear about the positive things that help to encourage our children to stay off the streets and to become leaders and successful citizens in the world. For many people including many adults, music has been the gateway to expressing ones emotions and feelings. How many youths do you know, that are mutil-talented through art forms but because they have nothing to do, they waste their time away smoking, drinking ,engaging in sex, and other criminal activities?

Youth Entertainment Studios is a program set-up to allow inner city youth to express themselves through music, dance and film. The program travels nationally and globally allowing for youth to build and connect with others around the world who are struggle with some of the same realities they struggle with. Yet, instead of continuing on the cycle of those struggles, they are finding positive outlets that allow them to release those energies.

 I feel like if there were more programs created for purposes like this, may the teen pregnancy or jail rate would decrease instead of increase!

http://www.yesamerica.org/

The idea of “ambient intimacy” is a term that before reading this article I would have had no interest in, yet alone been able to understand. However, this idea in my opinion is more than just posting updates about what you are doing or how you are feeling. This idea of “ambient imtimacy”has changed for me in particular, the way I view social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. No longer do I just have to I network and connect with only those people who I know on a personal level. I can now connect and network with people who may be miles away from me or even someone close to me, who happen to have some of the same interests I have who I might have never connected with had it not been for Facebook or Twitter. As a teacher especially, this is a tool that will become very useful to me in the future specifically when it comes to things like conferences and lesson planning. When in doubt I can always tweet or facebook someone who may have the answers or solutions to my issues or concerns.

Yet, as teachers I think that just as important as it becomes for us to acknowledge how powerful these networks can be we should also be mindful that some of these same networks our children are using. And while it is encouraged to become a part of this “new technology”, things like face-to-face interaction should never be taken for granted.

85 schools in the district of Philadelphia for the 2008-09 schools year are considered to be under-performing according to the school (AYP) Adequate Yearly Progress Yet instead of closing down the schools reforming and possiblity even hiring new and qualified teachers and faculty, for 45 days students attending any of the 85 schools in Philadelphia are now required to attend what the district is referring to summer enrichment in order for them to continue onto the next grade level.  However, I think what the district neglects to recognize is that there are already programs setup specifically in the summer that these specific students can attend. In particular a  summer enrichment program called Philadelphia Freedom Schools. Here the students learn math, reading and writing  from 9 a.m to 12 p.m and then from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. the students are also being enriched through art forms including things like cooking, arts and crafts, karate, salsa dance, etc. Yet, instead of the district of Philadelphia requiring for those students to attend this programs, some schools would prefer for their students to sit inside of a classroom for six  hours like prisoners with no outside interaction with others. This sounds more like prison than school to me and must be stopped. If schools are created for the students then why are we as a community allowing for the districts to dictate what is best for our students? Let’s wake up people!http://www.phila.k12.pa.us/announcements/under_performing.html

For many especially students and teachers, the summer is a time to relax from a 10-month school year and to being to enjoy things like your family, friends and theme parks. However, as we transition our children into the summer months the problem becomes, Will the students stay consistent with learning now that there is no school for two months?  

While things like staying consistent with schooling all year round are important, the problem is that schooling throughout the summer months are not always accessible to students and even when it is there must be an avenue through which the students can learn, particularly textbooks. I believe when children are given an opportunity to learn, the possibilities of what they can achieve become endless. Although, the student’s achievement within the Newark school district is nowhere compared to the achievement levels of other schools in that area including places like Westfield and Union, the Newark school district is attempting to push for change. The idea to allocate additional money for student summer reading books during the summer months that will “help prepare them for college-level work and also foster a lifelong love of reading,” not only helps the students but will also helps to better the community. A community that is long overdue for both economic and educational change.http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/06/newark_school_district_to_dist.html

Although, I believe that the issue of equality in America for all people, is an issue that can often be overlooked. I also believe that even when one is confronted with the this issue and still does nothing about it but complain to others about how unequal it is, it allows for the issue to become worst.  In order for people to become successful, there are things that must be set in place that allow them to grow positively. These things include grow for the mind, body, and soul and projects like, The Algebra Project are things created to ensure that the disadvantaged, can take advantage of accessible opportunities. http://www.alegbraproject.org

The world of technology and its effects are definitely interesting, especially when we think about what effects they will have on future teachers and future students. The creation of links, HTTP’s, URI’s and HTML’s have really begun to allow people to come into a world that allows for communication and network in the blink of any eye. A world that just 20 years ago did not exist.

I think what is also interesting to note is that technology not only allows for us access to places and people through communication and networking. Technology has also become a means for us to express ourselves through media and images.

Yet, what is often neglected on behalf  of some many who have power, governments, its officials and the like, is the lack of emphasis put on how to make things such as laptops and distance learning accessible not just to the elite, but to all people.

For all the purposes that technology serves, according to Cynthia Selfe’s article, Literacy and Technology Linked: The National Project to Expand Technological Literacy “Computers continue to be distributed differentially along the related axes of race and socioeconomic status.”

As a result, the children who seem to be affected the most happen to be students who live in impoverished cities and those students who are minorities.  While I do not believe that “pointing the finger” in any way solves the problem, I do believe that what should happen is that people to begin to really take a good look into reality. Not just their realities, but they should begin to really look at the realities of people who are face with disadvantages daily.

                Technology in my opinion is something that can and are really open doors for many people. However, if one has no door to go through then what use is the door being open?

rainbow from the homeland