Selfie Sticks! Get Your Selfie Stick!

Selfie Sticks

  Photo Credit: lewistodd234 via Compfight cc

During class Alec and Katia showed us two Apple iPhone ads.  Both struck a cord with me so I knew that I wanted to write about the videos.  The first video was an Apple iPhone 5 ad called Photos Every Day.

This ad reminded me of when I was on my honeymoon in New York with my husband Damon.  We had so much fun while we were in New York, but I was shocked by the number of people we saw taking pictures with selfie sticks. They were everywhere!  I also couldn’t believe my ears when I heard someone chant, “Selfie Sticks! Get Your Self Stick!”  I have heard people chant when they were selling hot dogs, popcorn, beverages, and other merchandise, but that was the first time I ever heard someone selling selfie sticks that way.  When we walked down Time Square every New York merchandise store and street cart had selfie sticks that could be purchased.  I read an article called, “The Selfie Stick Takes Manhattan.” The article reminded me of our visit because everywhere we turned there were people taking pictures with selfie sticks or taking selfies around Time Square.  Damon and I did take pictures together at some of our favourite places that we visited in New York, but we did not use a selfie stick.  I think sometimes in society we focus to much time of capturing the moments to share on our social media accounts instead of being truly present in the moment.  What are your thoughts?

I also think it is interesting how selfie sticks are now having to be banned at certain places because of people not using them properly.  In New York city Museums and Zoos are starting to ban selfie sticks because it can put the exhibits, public, and animals in danger.  I was reading an article online that discussed those places having to ban selfie sticks and hang up signs to remind people about the ban.  I could not imagine extending a selfie stick out right by an animal at the zoo to get a close up, but I guess there are many types of people who do not think of the risks and why that is wrong.  I was reading on NBC News that Disney is banning selfie sticks as well.  I was shocked to read that people were trying to take pictures on the rides.  I never would have thought of people trying to take pictures while on a ride let along take pictures using a selfie stick.  The article also had a short video discussing selfie sticks that I found very interesting.  What is your opinion of the seflie stick?  It is a good tool if used properly?

I was also reading another article from the Daily Mail called Step away from your cameraphone: Constantly taking photographs STOPS our brains remembering what happened.” In the article it explores that people do not remember the same amount of details of the event or place compared to someone who did not take pictures.  In the article it stated that, “When people rely on technology to remember for them, it can have a negative impact on how well they remember their experiences.”  What is your opinion?  Do you think if a person takes too many pictures it would effect how well the person will remember the place he or she visited?  I like taking photographs so I can  use the pictures to create my memory scrapbooks, but I think there is a difference between having a few photographs compared to having your camera out constantly.  I believe when a person has there camera out for the whole time they are more focused on capturing the moment or on taking the best pictures compared to being present in the moment.  It is important to live in the moment and soak in the experience!

Then in class we watched another advertisement for the Apple iPhone 5 called FaceTime Every Day.

I just loved this advertisement!! Facetime is one of my favourite apps on my iPhone. I love that I am able to not only have conversations with my family and friends, but I get to see them while we talk.  It truly allows me to connect with others who live far away.  I am the only person in my family who does not live where I was raised so it is nice to be able to Facetime with my family when I am not able to make it to special events that happen during the week.  My nephew and I have so much fun when we Facetime each other.  He tells me about play school, what they did during the day, and shows me all the new things that he has learned.  I love watching my ten month old niece and her reactions when my sister turns the phone to her so I can say hi.  Her expressions on her face is priceless!  It is moments like what I just described is why I love that form of technology.  When technology can truly allow you to connect to other people and share special moments together!

What Does Media Literacy Mean To Me?

In class we were asked to do a couple of readings and watch a Ted Talk to prepare for our class that explored the topic of Media Literacy.  This was the first time I have ever thought about Media Literacy and what it means.  In Chapter One: “Why Increase Media Literacy” James Potter wrote how “our culture is saturated with media messages” (p. 3).   I never sat back to think about all the messages that a person views, reads, listens to, and watches throughout a day until I completed the readings.  I started to think about what different kinds messages there are and how I have responded to the messages.  I even thought about the lack of response I had when thinking back to some of the messages.  It made me begin to think about my students and in the importance of teaching them the decision making process and how to make positive choices.  Have you ever thought about the different messages you have been exposed to before?  On September 15, 2014 I wrote a blog post entitled “Digital Citizenship Webinar.”  At the end of the blog I discussed a poster that used the acronym THINK.  This poster was created to remind people about thinking before they post or respond on any digital format or social media.  I believe we can also use some of these ideas from the acronym to help us to be more critical when viewing media messages.  What are your thoughts?


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Often people do not think about all the different forms of media we read and view.  I have heard many educators voice their options of the importance of reading and writing, but viewing and the other ELA strands are just as important.  In the chapter Potter explores how media is growing at a rapid pace and it is hard to keep up with all the knew technologies.  Young children and youth are exposed to media on a daily basis and students interact with many forms of media.  During the reading it caught my eye when Potter discussed how “everyone can generate and share information to large number of people every day”  (p. 4).  He talked about how people do not have to be professional artists, journalists, or filmmakers to share their messages using different forms of media.  People are connected to media throughout their day and I never thought about how I am directly and indirectly connected to media.  “Over the past three decades, every new survey of media use has shown that people on average have been increasing their exposure time every year” (Potter, p. 4).  Later on in the chapter Potter explored how humans perform many tasks through developing automatic routines and went on to discuss a concept called automaticity.    Throughout the day humans respond and view to so many different forms of media everyday that sometimes it becomes apart of our routine and we do not pay attention to everything we are viewing or reading.  I believe that it is important to teach our students about media so they can become more media literate since they are developing more positive routines when interacting with media.  It is also vital that they understand more about how they interact with media  because their interactions can affect their digital footprint in either a positive or negative way.  What are your thoughts with children and youth interacting with media?

To prepare for my Monday’s class I also watched a Ted Talk by  Sherry Turkle called “Connected, but Alone?” for my EC&I832 Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy class.

Sherry Turkle studies technologies and people’s plugged in lives.  She discussed and found that the devices are so powerful “that they don’t only change what we do, they change who we are.”  In her Ted Talk she talked about how people are plugged in during meetings and texting others instead of being present with the people and the company that they have.  Do you think people are not as present with the people they are interacting with in person?  Are people too plugged in when their focus should be on someone or on another task at hand?  Turkle talked about how “we are losing the true connectedness with each other.”  In my family we decided that cell phones were not allowed at the supper table and we always turned off the television.  Having family conversations was always important to my family!  It did not matter if a family member was away or not we always took the time to sit around the table and talk about our day.  I know when Damon and I start a family I want to continue that family tradition.  It is so important to stay connected with each other and make the time for loved ones!

The other day I was with some friends and one friend commented about feeling lost since their cell phone was left at home.  I know many other people who felt that way when they have forgotten their phone before or their cell had to be sent away to get repaired.  I usually always have my cellphone on me all the time, but when I walk into school I rarely look at my phone until I am finished work and leaving for home.  I like being able to keep my mind on work and not get distracted.  I try not to let my cell phone take over my life at home as well.  I am still someone who prefers to have a conversation on the phone or talk using Face time.  I am not a fan of having long conversations through text messaging.  I do not feel like I get to connect with the person I am talking to if only have a conversation with them through texting.  I know I do not give as much detail when I text someone a message compared to talking with them.  However, I do know many people who are the opposite of me and prefer to text.  Is technology changing who we are?  Are people leading their lives too plugged into the world instead of living in the moment?  Are we depending on technology too much? I know I will be reflecting on those questions throughout the next few months.

Hello Again…I’m Excited to Get Back to Creating New Blog Posts!

Hello everyone!  I am excited to get back to blogging.  When I finished taking EC&I 831 class I was hoping to continue blogging, but teaching, coaching, directing drama, taking new classes, and planning a wedding kept me busy so I never took the time to sit down to create a new blog post over the last few months.  However, I did keep up with my classroom blog with my students!!  Just over a month ago I married Damon so I am getting use to being Mrs. Kyle now instead of Miss Stephanson.  Right now I am in the process of creating a new classroom blog since the URL had Miss Stephanson as a part of the name so I felt to avoid confusion with my new students and parents that I needed to create a new classroom blog that has my new last name.  Sue Waters from the Edublog Support Team has been a fabulous support answering all my questions through e-mails and helping me with this transition.  I am looking forward to getting my new classroom blog up and running!  I will let everyone know once I have started to blog again with my grade two students.

wedding barn wedding close up

A few pictures from our wedding day taken by Jessica Hunter of Jessica Hunter Photograph.

I am currently taking another class with Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt called EC&I 832: Digital Citizenship and Media Literacies.  It is my eighth class at the University of Regina for the Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Just the other day I noticed that I just had my one year anniversary for my WordPress blog.  It just seems like yesterday that I started taking EC&I 831 and I was new to blogging and Twitter.  Now I am much more comfortable and knowledgeable about creating posts and tweets.  If you are new to blogging or Twitter remember to ask lots of questions!  Everyone is here to help and grow together as learners in this class.  I am looking forward to learning from everyone!! 🙂

One Year Blog Anniversary!

one year anniversary
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I also want to send a huge birthday shout out to my Dad!  Happy Birthday Dad!  I love you very much!