My Quest To Teach

December 13, 2014

Is Your Child An ISIS or Extremist Target

Is Your Child An ISIS or Extremist Target
by William Jackson

The use of Social Media has grown from a communications tool used
in text format with the ability to interact with anyone through email,
growing to a digitally and interactive platform to an entertainment
platform that has no limits on multimedia interaction, music and movies
can be viewed with ease from a multitude of software’s that are
available for free, and now Social Media has the potential to be a
recruitment tool with dangerous results.

The recent news report on NPR of ISIS and other extremist groups
recruiting youth, teens and young adults should be another wakeup
call for parents to monitor their children’s Social Media activity. Parents
need to understand the dynamics and connectivity of Social Media
allowing the ability to connect with individuals and groups globally.
There was safety with distance at one time, but now with the Internet
and the integration of Social Media platforms that have powerful tools,
distance is not a protective measure.
Distance, time zones, geographic locations and even differences in language
are not a hindrance to connecting with potentially dangerous groups.
There are tools, Apps, translation software, devices, programs and direct
interaction that can circumvent any challenge to communication. Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Vimeo, SnapChat, Youtube are just a small part
of the interactive abilities of the Internet. Each month there seems to be
a new App or program that allows unlimited access to people and information.

Parents need to be educated on the interactivity and the platforms of
Social Media, not just to battle foreign terrorists, but domestic terrorism
in the form of Bullying, Cyberbullying, Sexting and even Catfishing.
Groups are applying the knowledge of technology in desktop and laptop
computers, also the mobility of tablets and Smartphones. These devices
have the ability in a mobile platform to allow groups to recruit and influence
mentally and emotionally the decisions that youth, teens and young adults
make. The Internet connections can be 24 hours a day thus opening
constant dialogue and engagement.

Individuals and groups can develop relationships that can potentially influence
the behaviors of youth, teens and young adults to disobey their parents and
guardians, to go against their moral, ethical and even religious teachings
and participate in potential activities of terrorism. If a parent thinks that
their child will never do this they are foolish and ignorant to the power of
technology and engagement through Social Media. The Social aspect of
social media encourages connecting and the ability to have unlimited
connectivity to anyone around the globe. The infusion of Social Media tools
opens doors to levels of communication that are uncontrolled and unmonitored
by the government. If the government does not monitor the content being
created, parents need to monitor what comes into their homes, physically
and electronically.

As an elementary school, higher education teacher and Social Media
blogger I have blogged and spoken about the responsibility and accountability
of parents to monitor their children’s online social life. Talking to elementary
students, they present a picture that is frightening. Their parents are unaware
of their actions and behaviors in an online environment. Girls and boys in fourth
and fifth grade pretending to be in middle and high school, using language that
would make a seasoned sailor blush or a porn star envy. Social Media is a mirror
of our society; there are information sites, entertainment sites, interactive sites
that promote education, intellectualism and the diversity of sexual lifestyles.

There are sites dedicated exclusively to illegal drugs, pedophile sites that teach
how to lure children away from their parents and the site that was
used by three girls from Denver, Colorado and were recruited by ISIS. Parents
must understand that sites are managed by individuals that study children, teens
and young adults and employ tactics and strategies that entice and lure them
to a sense of safety and openness.
The ease of the Internet and WIFI connections allows youth and teens to go
online without guidance or training, opening digital doors to multiple influences
that at one time parents would say, “my child would never do that” or “my children
knows better” and even “there are no people like that where I live.”
This dangerous and ignorant way of thinking is being tested as youth, teens and
young adults in the United States and other nations are influenced by elements
of ISIS, religious extremists and other organizations that may glamorize violence,
racism, hate, gender bias or even romanticize the efforts of projected images
of liberation of people or culture through violence.

Journey Into Womanhood – Empowerment Resources – Social Media Workshop

The minds and emotions of youth and teens are impulsive and easily influenced
especially if youth and teens feel neglected by family. If children feel they are not
important, valued, contributing to the family and even treated as important
they will knowingly or unknowingly search for the things they feel or think they are
missing. These are the same elements when youth, teens and young adults
enter the world of gangs. Groups know how to build a relationship with teens
and young adults, this may happen over months or years, but they do build
trust and friendships. These friendships / relationships blossom into a
connection that is hard to break and creates in teens a bond that may grow
to be stronger than the bond they have with their parents and family members.

The disturbing ease of access to groups that promote violence shows how the
Internet can enter into homes and the lives of American families. The Internet
can be absorbed into homes where the might of the American military cannot
have an influence; this is the battlefield for parents and guardians. They must
be vigilant and instinctive of their and other children’s access to Internet resources
and Social Media platforms.

Parents must on a regular timeline check Smartphones, Internet sites on laptops,
tablets and other devices to see where their children are going. Parents should
Google their children and their friends to keep abreast of potential activities and
importantly have conversations and express parental expectations of behavior.
If a parent does not take steps they may be faced with dire consequences and
circumstances as the recent NPR story shares or worse.
The NPR story by Dina Temple-Raston – “ISIS Used Predatory Tools And
Tactics To Convince U.S. Teens To Join” shows the ease and the complexity in
recruiting teens. Parents must have conversations with their children about
their online activities because their lives are literally in danger using
Social Media.

NPR story can be found at:

WJXT Social Media Tips Video

Other resources
A High School Students Social Media SWAG

Where is Your Social Media SWAG

Social Media Guidelines are Needed

Journey Into Womanhood Using Social Media

High school students Social Media Brand and Culture

December 8, 2014

Preparing HBCU Students for Reality
by William Jackson
Part of a continuing series…………..

This blog was written with much reflection and research of the past.
In order for change Blacks need political, economic and educational
voices and power. Protesting, chanting and marching won’t do it
alone. HBCU students must be active and engaged, using the tools
and platforms of Social Media to share truth, accuracy, intelligence,
and faith.

You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do
is to be an intelligent human being.” Malcolm X
The events from Ferguson to New York have shown there are violent
lines of conduct against those of color. There seems no change in
emotional volatility and the potential for psychological enslavement
because of violence against Blacks and even Black on Black crime.
Blacks have seen a growth in violence against them; age, gender and
economic status is not a protection against the growing number of
graves being dug and Black boys and girls tossed into the oblivion of
death by police brutality and the effects of Black on Black crime.

“I do not expect the white media to create positive black male images.”
Huey Newton
There are increasing references to the civil rights movements of the
60’s, 70’s and 80’s, how there were grassroots efforts of protest
demanding similar changes. The unification of communities against social
injustices and economic, educational, and political imbalances that
are still present even in the 21st century worked to a point, they were
nonviolent, but the violence of today only helps to destroy Black
communities that are already struggling with the lack of economic
investments and social caring.

“Any unarmed people are slaves, or are subject to slavery at any
given moment.” Huey Newton
Police brutality, declining political power and influence, economic
impotence and educational struggles are the same issues that have
extended from the past. Events of the past should have taught Blacks
a lesson in historical importance. The lessons that should have been
learned as a culture, if that culture does not have economic or
political influences they will be treated as second if not third class
citizens. If a culture even in the minority or seen as a minority
does not have the intellectual members of their community voicing
concern and demanding change then they will be ignored and if
a culture does not have the educational clout to not just demand
educational change, but institute change on their own they will
be ignored and those that make a noise will be threatened with
exclusion or expulsion. Education is vital for Blacks to be relevant
in America and the world.

Blacks have lost and continue to lose power and influence, not
just from outside influences, but because of the lack of self-investment.
Power respects power, what power does the African American
community poses even in its HBCU institutions that in too many
cases themselves are struggling. PWI’s can say they are supported
monetarily, politically and generationally; HBCU’s often struggle
with validity, relevance and influence even by Blacks themselves.
This mindset must change because HBCU’s are still and will remain
important. Rarely do PWI’s receive scrutiny from within, the
psychological way of thinking must change for HBCU’s, HBCU’s are
important and vital to the growth of America.

Change is not coming if our intellectual scholars do not think it is
important for them to be involved, change will be fleeting if our
youth do not think it worth as African Americans of the past see
that not only is education empowering, but using that education
not to just make money, but to empower and speak for their
“people.” Where are the young leaders, the future Barack Obama’s,
Jesse Jackson’s, Barbara Jordan’s, Eric Holders, Kwesi Mfume, and
Colin Powell’s?

“After 1865 there was extensive mobilization within the Black
community, meetings, parades and petitions calling for legal and
political rights, including the all-important right to vote.”

Black activism grew as a political force; leaders were either selected
or trained. In this decade where are our present and future leaders
being groomed to handle the current racial issues? HBCU’s have a
historical responsibility to do this and students have a moral, ethical
and cultural responsibility not to be selfish in their actions. There are
groups across the country, students from colleges and universities
that are keeping with the traditions of peaceful protest. They need
support and importantly their stories/struggles told. Our struggles and
stories cannot be left with traditional media, African American
bloggers/content creators/ media creators are in desperate need to
share important issues and information.

Organizations like the NAACP, Black Caucuses and others are shadows
of themselves, lacking political power and supported by too many of
those that want to see themselves in headlines, on television and being
heard in sound bytes that have no value. There are those warriors still
working hard, but they need support. There has been the Urban League,
SCLU and even the Union League in 1867, which encouraged the political
activism of African Americans throughout the South. That created political
change; Blacks today cannot even get out and vote to keep Democrats in
the House of Representatives and the Senate where the real laws and
political influence are. You get what you vote (or do not vote) for.

The deaths of youth, teens and young men will go on and their deaths will
accomplish nothing, they will be forgotten and become faded images on t-shirts,
old news programs, faces on discarded newspapers or forgotten blogs unless
students get active and engaged. HBCU’s are allowing others to write their
stories that will project in the future. In 15 years and beyond when the history
books ask, where were the HBCU’s and what was their involvement and influence
during the times of deaths of African American youth and teens, it is hoped that
the message will be that HBCU’s were in the forefront using their resources of
intellectualism and organized protests that influence politics, economics,
education and social change. As an HBCU graduate from South Carolina State
University I hope history does not state that HBCU’s were impotent and quiet,
hiding on the sidelines with no power.
My tool is my voice in writing, my goal is not to demean, degrade nor disgrace,
but sometimes harsh words need to be used to engage those that sit by and
do nothing. The deaths of too many young men and women need action now,
Bloggers, Vbloggers, Podcasters, Microbloggers, and Social Media activists
need to shout their voices and the voice of protesters.

“Your goal in life can’t just be to do well for yourself. I love Howard’s motto,
“Truth and Service.” Not “Truth or Service.” Truth and Service. As Dr. King
said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.” U.S. Secretary of
Education Arne Duncan, Howard University

How can we teach our HBCU students to be active and engaged if instructors,
educators, adjuncts, administrators, presidents and others on HBCU campuses
sit by quietly, hiding and hoping no one asks them what their opinion is.
What is the use of gaining knowledge in political science, criminal justice,
economics if you do not use that knowledge to help your own people in times
of turmoil and death.

Have African Americans been so absorbed by the colonization of their minds
and enslavement of their thinking thru history that they have lost their sense
of worth and value for their color and culture?
Time will..
“Swear your oath not with your hand over your heart,
but your hand outstretched to give, to serve, to do. “
Mayor Cory Booker, Hampton University

November 25, 2014

Social Media Relevance at HBCU’s

Social Media Relevance at HBCU’s
Part 3
by William Jackson, Prof. Edward Waters College
Historically Black College and University

“Social media is changing the way we communicate and the
way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time
you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to
your own digital footprint and personal brand.” Amy Jo Martin
CEO of Digital Royalty

There is real relevance for Social Media at HBCU’s that has
firmly been established as an increasing number of colleges and
universities post content online that enables students to use
Smartphones, Tables, Laptops and other devices that can access
wireless signals to access Social Media platforms and tools.
The empowerment and engagement of Social Media is seen
when those same devices allow students to post their content
back for the completion of lessons, projects, and research.

In my Educational Technology class at Edward Waters College,
the oldest HBCU in Florida, the process is to use Blogging to post
content that encourages engagement in reading, research, analytical
thought and using those tools to post content that requires students
to think in diverse ways. Diversity is not just culturally or gender wise
it is academically also. Higher education is an environment that
should promote and challenge independent and dynamic thinking.
Even when the students are not exposed to this in high school or
lack cognitive tools because of the lack of exposure. HBCU’s are
preparing students for careers that have real world consequences
and the integration of technology.

My instruction covers the areas that students would not normally think
to apply from historical applications to bringing the relevancy and
need for implementation of technology and Social Media. As future
educators, whether in the public education level, collegiate or other
avenues HBCU students not only must be aware of how Social Media
tools work, but how to effectively and efficiently to apply them for
educational purposes.
The same can be said for the business, science, arts, engineering and
other disciples. The platforms of Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtude, Twitter,
Pinterest, etc open digital doors for permanently posting content that will
be accessible for years. Making available for future research and
development information and data.

Social Media allows for digital engagement, this engagement will
permanently be posted, housed, archived and backed-up for continued
use. Unless removed through electronic and digital means all information
can be accessible as long as there are links to the content. One of the
growing issues in using Social Media is how will content be used to promote
a student at an HBCU, how can their content show intellectualism, critical
and higher order thinking abilities. HBCU students need to use Social Media
beyond postings from parties, sexual conquests, involvement in sporting
events, drama filled altercations and even the growing number of “Selfies.”
Employers before considering if they will hire someone especially from an
HBCU will research, analyze, scrutinize and question that student’s ability
to display professional mannerisms and maturities. Social Media influences
perceptions, concepts, and interpretations about a person or group. The
Social aspect of Social Media is a powerful connection of interactions and
exchanges, but these exchanges can be negative and positive. Perception
is a powerful force when the only interaction is a picture, video or tweet.

Jeff Barrett (@barrettall) “Companies are looking to be quicker with content,
provide faster approval and be able to capitalize on the conversation and
content of the moment.”

Businesses, corporations, governments, school districts, non-profits, and even
religious organizations are researching volunteers and potential employees.
Human resource departments have their individual and collective policies and
practices when researching a person and the use of technologies that will
access information not only of that person, but family members, friends,
religious, political and sexual preferences. The growing access to a person’s
credit score, financial history and medical history are controversial, but still
a reality. There are no secrets and HBCU students need to understand this
before they make a mistake that could cost them a job, a salary bonus, an
internship, scholarship or a dream career.
If we (educators) do not teach HBCU students about Social Media safety
and common sense we are exposing students to the dangers of ignorance.
Where their content will be misinterpreted and create perceptions of negativity
and doubt in student’s ability to perform on a level of excellence and

Questions still asked, should HBCU students be taught the proper way
to engage with email, that is similar to teaching students proper
engagement with their cell phones. Employers are listening to the musical
overtones, beats, lyrical expressions and musical abilities by students on
their phones, employers in some cases hanging-up before talking to a
student and offering a job interview.
Employers are looking at email addresses, instant replies and signatures
determining the professionalism of these students.
HBCU student’s first impressions to the world are through their
electronic devices. What impressions are they giving potential
employers even before the application and interview process?

Yacine Baroudi (@yacinebaroudi) “Our digital future is about
enabling better productivity and decisions making to enjoy a better
quality of life.”

HBCU students need to know how to email with etiquette and
should know how to title a subject and write intelligently with proper
grammar and proper spelling. Students will send thousands of emails
in their lifetime and should learn early how to create professional and
purpose filled emails, this should not be a “learn as you go” and
learn by your mistakes. Once a perception of lack of grammar and
spelling is shown this is a turn off for potential employees.
Teaching Social Media at HBCU’s requires engagement and applying
tools that permit diversification in communication. Students should
understand and be able to Podcast, Microblog on Twitter, Facebook
with a business mind, Blog using appropriate grammar, spelling and
with a passion, implement a Youtude channel and understand how
to build a following from a broad based spectrum of the community.

HBCU students need to take advantage of attending conferences, workshops,
seminars and professional development opportunities to develop the skills
necessary to compete and interact in digital communities.

Social Media Elevation Raises HBCU Status
Part 4

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