Vol. 2 Issue 19 | May 13, 2016
Three Things This Week
1. A Year In The Digital Life of a 13 Year Old
What it is: Two researchers spent a year with a class of 13 year olds – at school, at home, with their friends, and online. Their book, The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age, is now available.
Why it’s important: Even though the average iPhone is unlocked 80 times a day, young students admit they don’t want to be constantly plugged in. What they desire is independence, and their digital devices offer autonomy from parents and teachers. In fact, Sherry Turkle shares that younger students are displaying a growing aversion towards technology, with one student saying, “I want to raise my children not the way I’ve been raised, but the way my parents think they have been raising me: in a house of conversation”. Ouch. Here’s 7 tips to take control of your technology.
2. Teen Abortions Drop 44%
What it is: In wonderful news for the pro-life movement, fewer teens are having abortions in the United States.
Why it’s good: The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute released a study this week showing the number of U.S. teens who had an abortion dropped significantly between 2008 and 2014. Help your students form a Godly view of humanity; understanding that every life is sacred, from conception to natural death.
3. Uncharted 4
What it is: The last installment in the story-driven video game series of adventurer Nathan Drake, featuring his dilemma to either return to his old treasure hunting days, or be content with married life.
Why it’s important: British GQ says Uncharted 4 is the “Best game ever created”. Visually immersive, it feels like an interactive movie, proving that the gaming industry is a compelling medium for storytelling. Thereby explaining why your students are so engrossed in video games, since they achieve what other storytelling mediums can’t, they invite you into the experience. Unlike watching a movie, when good or bad things happen in the game, they are happening to you! Talk with your students about the mesmerizing characteristics of today’s games, as well as the potential pitfalls of becoming too engrossed in these stories.
Time Magazine released it’s list of the “100 Most Influential People” in the world. The list includes politicians, artists, activists, athletes, and scientists. We’ve curated the list down to the top 10 people shaping the minds, hearts, and habits of your students, whether they realize it or not.
1. Aziz Ansari: (Actor & Comedian) Creator of the hit comedy-drama series Master of None. His relational brand of humor is raw and honest. Think Seinfeld but with an edge.
2. Palmer Luckey: (Inventor) Founder of Oculus VR and the inventor of Oculus Rift. He’s opening up a new world of storytelling using virtual reality, inviting viewers into a full 360-degree experience.
3. Hope Jahren: (GeoBiologist & Author) Tenured professor at the University of Hawaii researching fossilized plant life. Her book Lab Girl explores botany in a fresh way, as well as questions sexism in academia. She’s been said to have the “precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist”.
4. Kendrick Lamar: (Artist & Rapper) Known for his “movement music” that confronts social issues head on. Lamar is an outspoken, controversial Christian. His lyrics and lifestyle are grounded in the gritty side of Compton.
5. Stephen Curry: (NBA Superstar) Reigning NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors and two-time NBA MVP, Curry is a phenomenon. Opposing fans arrive early for his games just to watch him practice. Plus, he’s a wonderful family man. But daughter Riley Curry is the real star!
6. Sundar Pichai: (Google CEO) Internet engineer responsible for Google Chrome, Gmail, and Android phones. He’s creating the technology shaping the next generation.
7. Pope Francis: (Um, He’s the Pope) He’s brought the social back to the Gospel, reminding students that faith without works is dead. The Holy Father is on a mission to elevate women, end poverty, and challenge systems of injustice, oppression, and violence.
8. Nicki Minaj: (Rapper/Singer) Glitzy, glamorous and provocative, she’s the most charted female rapper in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. Time reminds us of her influence on teens: “She’s an icon, a boss and a role model to all these young girls”.
9. Idris Elba: (Actor) The BAFTA and Golden Globe winner is best known for his roles in The Wire, Luther, Beasts of No Nation, and the feature film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. He’s a man’s man, he has friends in high places, and is considered the leading candidate to take over Daniel Craig’s role as James Bond.
10. Nadia Murad: (Activist) After the murder of her family, Nadia was kidnapped, sold into slavery, and brutally raped by ISIS. Since her escape, she speaks out for the thousands of Yezidi women still in captivity, while shining a light into the devastating aftermath of the U.S. led war in Iraq.