Friday, March 25, 2011

Week 10, March 25, 2011

This week in Visual Literacy class we watched a TED Talk from author Chimamanda Adichie. She spoke about her experience as a writer and the importance of multiple stories. Adichie argued that if there is only one side of a story being told, so much information could be lost or misrepresented. She gave examples of her life upon coming to America where her roommate assumed she knew nothing of America and was surprised she knew English.

Adichie stated that if we continue to think in this same way, we will be basing our attitudes on much of what we assume is true instead of what we know to be true and what we’ve experienced.

This was definitely something I hadn’t thought about before and it was an interesting perspective to consider. I’m guilty of it myself. Many times we see stories over the media telling one part of a story or a specific instance, and we believe its true of a whole people group or culture. It is our responsibility to inform ourselves and compare what we ‘know’ with what is truly happening so we don’t end up misrepresenting others.

Click here for the link to Chimamanda Adichie's TED Talk.

*Photo from:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Aha Blog #3: Safe Technology for Kids

Sometimes I scan the internet for new types of applications or technology that are on the market today. While researching social networks I came upon this article on the Today Show's website that I found interesting (Family-friendly social networks take aim at Facebook). The article mentioned two new social networks called: Neer and Everloop. They both offer privacy and are pre-teen friendly, which is very important today. I knew nothing about either program, so I decided to dig in a little deeper.

Neer ( works as an application for phones that lets you share information about where you are located. You are able to easily adjust which of your contacts see what you are doing. Though its not intended for use of ages 13 and below, this program can work well with parents trying to keep tabs on their children through the program’s updates. While Neer compares more to Twitter than Facebook, its GPS qualities can give parents reassurance about their children’s safety.

Everloop ( compares more with Facebook. It is an interactive social looping site for pre-teens between 8 and 13. It incorporates collaborative learning options for school projects, email, IM, chat and voice chat, video uploading, games, and Goobs (or pranks).

Kids are able to customize their own pages in a safe environment. Parents are notified when a child tries to expand their loop of friends and can monitor their site via a parental console page. Safety is definitely a priority. Everloop’s terms of use note that if a user is suspected of lying about their age or have questionable content on their page, they will be deleted from the system.

Example Everloop Page from:

It is good to see that these companies are taking safety seriously when working with kids and teens. I think its very important to encourage this type of technology use so that kids can create and share in a safe environment with their peers. Click on the links to view more for yourself!