It is interesting to look at the differences between generations. Each have their defining qualities that help separate them from the next. The current generation or “youngest generation” has technology as just that. It is evident in their everyday lives. From keeping in contact with a friend online, to knowing what the weather is going to be the next day, kids these days are constantly immersed in a technological world.
When we ask kids just what it is they are doing with technology, most of the time I find that they are using it to learn and discover things about the world. For example, my younger sister loves to draw and is very talented at it. I also noticed that my younger sister spends a lot of time on YouTube. At first, both my mom and I thought that she was just wasting her time watching some of the brain-numbing content that YouTube has to offer. But when I actually inquired her on what it was she watched, she revealed that she was doing the opposite. She was stimulating her brain and used YouTube as a tool to improve her artistic abilities. She would search for and study videos showcasing things such as “shading techniques” or “how to improve you speed drawing” – things that were beneficial to know for her artistry. Things that 10 years ago she would have had to take a class to learn.
This isn’t the only topic I would like to touch on. Kids aren’t just using technology to enhance their skills. They are also using it to learn more about what is going on in the world.
Have you ever had a moment where you may have been discussing some political issue as adults and had a kid pipe-in with their opinions? Then you just stare in disbelief that the kid is even aware of what is happening? This is a situation I am witnessing more and more as time goes by. Kids are using technology as a way to learn about “adult problems.”
It’s a weeknight and you look out the window and see that it has begun to snow, and you get excited. Very excited. You get the glimmer of hope that all school age children get of a day off and a chance to sleep in. You race to the nearest phone, laptop or tablet to check the weather report for the following morning and you see that it’s going to keep on snowing through the night. You only have one more step before you’re convinced.
You open the browser and head over to snowdaypredictor.com, the trusted source and master of all snow day knowledge. This is the “make or break.” You punch in your postal code and you wait anxiously for the percentage. The page loads. YES! 87% chance! An almost guaranteed snow day. You go to bed that night planning everything you’re going to do the following day.
What I have just described is something we have all experienced at some point. We all have had those nights before school where we get excited because of a potential snow day, and try our best to make the prediction of if our wishes are going to become a reality. Now, there is just something that is helping give answers to those night time “what if’s.” Technology. In this modern age that we live in, it is becoming ever more prevalent — there really is technology available for every aspect of life. If you had said to kids 20 years ago, “Hey, in the future you can predict a snow day by percentage just by simply punching in your postal code,” they probably wouldn’t have believed you. That’s why it’s such a neat thing.
In my own school, it’s a widely used product. As soon as one kid looks out the window and sees that there is snow coming down, they will quickly pull up the website and start telling the people around them what the percentage is. There has been many a time that I have walked into a classroom and heard hushed whispers of numbers and the chance of a snow day. There was one day in particular that stands out in memory for me. This was the legendary day that the prediction was 99%. Word of this ungodly high number spread like wildfire to the point where even the teachers were aware of it. Kids my age trusted the source so much that some of them even took the gamble of not doing their homework.
It seems that my peers and kids alike use Snow Day Predictor as a trusted source of knowledge and don’t resist to put all their faith into the predictions it makes. In the winter, the website is treated as if it is the epicentre of all known weather/school knowledge, and I’m sure it will remain that way for many school kids to come.
La La Land is a movie musical made for dreamers. It’s here to inspire, and put a whimsical smile on your face. With its old fashioned musical feel it’s a movie spectacular that left me mesmerized. As a big fan of movie musicals such as Grease, Singing in the Rain and Across the Universe I knew going into this film that it would be right up my alley. Trust me when I say I am not exaggerating my words that this movie truly took my breath way. A movie like this only comes once in awhile and is a treasure to see in theatres.
The movie follows the story of Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), their relationship to each other, and reaching their goals out in the land of dreams, Los Angeles. Both of our protagonists have their own dreams, Mia, an actress, wants to be a star and, Sebastian, a jazz musician, wishes to open his own club. The movie follows them as they both try and fail and succeed their way through this fantastical tale.
Though both characters have different dreams I think most people would be able to relate to their stories for the simple fact that we all have tried to reach our eventual goals that we have clung to all our lives. It’s the strive to do what we love and to reach that. It’s the thing that our heart has desired to do since we were young. And I think that anyone watching this movie would notice that and be able to relate to it. I certainly felt that way. I came out of the theatre feeling refreshed and inspired to get back on track with achieving my dream. So if you’re a believer, or you just love musicals then I would recommend you go, spend an evening being taken away by this wonderfully stunning film. It awakens the dreamer in us all.
This year I was lucky enough to attend WE Day 2016 in Toronto.
Now for those who may not be familiar with WE Day it is a youth empowerment event in the style of a concert that is put on by Me to We and Free the Children. It features many speakers and musical artists who all use their stories and talents to inspire 20,000 or so youth in the Air Canada Centre. With musical performances from the likes of Jason Derulo and Gord Downie as well as speeches of empowerment and awareness of Canada’s history and future, it was a concert like no other.
Here’s a video that will help describe a little more about the event:
Like the video said, you can’t buy a ticket to WE Day. It is earned through your school and the work you do to support Me to We and Free the Children.
This was not my first time attending WE Day. Back in 2010 I was fortunate enough to attended for the first time in Vancouver. I found myself so inspired and it gave me a love and connection to the organization and the work that they do. So when I was faced with the offer to go again this year, I was ecstatic. I remember being so moved the first time, that the idea of going again and getting to hear more speeches and be influenced to think about some more important topics that I hadn’t thought about before was fantastic.
On the subject of important topics I hadn’t really thought about before, there was one that really touched me deeply that made me think hard about it and continue to. There was a section of the performance that they really focused on Canadian history and the upcoming 150th anniversary of Canada, and during that part, one of the main points was about reconciliation. The section started and was led by Gord Downie and the project that he was working on called “The Secret Path.” They told us about the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young native boy who died while trying to get back to his family from the reformation school that he was being kept at. Gord did this through song, speech and video as well as bringing along Chanie’s sister Pearl Wenjack. Pearl also did a short speech before singing a song in her native language. The atmosphere at this moment was intense. The whole stadium felt moved. It definitely left an impact as it is the thing I have been telling people about since.
This is an experience that will stay with me forever. It was a life changing event that has inspired me to help change the world and I am so grateful for being able to attend. If you ever get to go I would say: take the chance to be inspired. For we all can be the change.
Media offers a world of entertainment and learning possibilities for children and youth. The kidsmediacentre explores kids' media futures and is committed to supporting cross-platform content producers in Canada to ensure the kids' media industry is vibrant, indigenous and committed to the healthy growth of children.