Kids and their cell phones

Imagine that you are sitting in a classroom and a teacher is in the middle of their lecture and a cell phone goes off.  This is probably one of the rudest things that a person can do.  For some reason we have not taken the time to teach our kids cell phone etiquette as this still happens constantly.

Two years ago I was coaching a high school baseball game and I looked out into left field and realized that my left fielder was texting.  I really did not know how to handle this situation as at first I got really mad but when I realized that it was not that big of deal to the athlete, a light popped on in my head.  These phones are now a part of each person and they are with them ALL of the time. 

Instead of fighting the cell phones I tried to use them to my advantage as much as possible.  I tried to tell them what is acceptable and what is not and that they need to take these things seriously.  We also talked about when to use them and when they need to be turned off.   This did not mean put on vibrate, this meant turn them off.  I started texting them as to when I wanted them there for games and practices or any other reminders they needed to know.  We must use this to our advantage but we cannot let our kids lose their etiquette with new technologies.

I do believe that kids having a cell phone is a good thing but I really think we need to make sure that we are teaching them the proper times to use them.

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A strong handshake and look in the eye can go a long ways!

I am a high school baseball coach and have been for the last eight years.  The one noticable thing I see with the Y  generation is that they do not have the face to face communication skills the kids of the past did.  Their handshakes are weak and their eye contact is non-existent.  This is something we must change in our youngsters as it is so very important.

The reason I believe this has changed is simple.  I believe that the computer and video game generation has kept youngsters from dealing with things face to face.   It is very easy to sit behind a screen and type things to someone you can’t see in real-time, but when you have to sit and look at the person you are talking to it means a lot more as you can read facial expressions, and feel what the other person is thinking. 

We must get our kids communicating correctly  again and the only way to do this is to show them what it takes at an early age.  It does not take much to look someone in the eyes and shake their hand, but it can go a long ways.

When should our kids be learning about social media?

There are many arguments out there for each side of the social media spectrum and they both can argue good points.  The question I am putting forth is; Is there an age that is ” too young” to teach our kids the social media concept?  I truly believe that this concept should be taught at an early age.

The reason I believe this concept should be taught at an early age is because kids are going to have access to the internet earlier and earlier in life and they are going to have to be careful of their reputation.  I know that this sounds bad but we live in America and people will hold you accountable for your actions even if you are at a young age.   Jason Falls does a great job of telling us why we must be up on blogs and social media.

http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/2009/01/13/determining-the-top-education-blogs/

We must stay ahead of the curve.  This is obviously the direction that this world is going in so instead of fight it we must educate.  I am one of the biggest technology haters out there but there is no stopping it so we must control what they are doing on it.

Positive or Poison? Which one are you?

I have come to realize that in this world there are two kinds of people; positive people and poisoness people.  It is amazing how much your attitude can not only affect your work, but it can also affect the way others work around you. 

The people who tend to be positive will make others around them better.  These people tend to look at the future instead of dwelling on the past.  Poisoness people tend to dwell on everything thats gone bad for them and don’t realize or care who they affect around them.  I think that it is clear that we learn better when we are in a positive environment.   We have all had that teacher or boss that is constantly  negative and they tend to be bad leaders.  

The next time your alarm goes off in the morning and you wake up and feel that poisoness attitude coming on, stop and think about it.  Is it really worth living life this way?

Keeping our environment clean

We all know that the better the environment is around us the more likely we are to succeed. So why don’t we preach this concept as an important life skill? It does not matter if you are at your house, in your car, or in a learning environment, the cleaner the environment the better we feel and the more likely we will be  to get better results.

I have found that the best way to take care of the environment around you is to pick one thing everyday to concentrate on. Keep your desk organized and clean. Take pride in how your car and house look. It may not seem like it but people judge you on the environment you live in and if they get into your car and it is disgusting;then they make an automatic non conscious judgment that could affect you down the road. Do you think that employers want to hire people who are slobs?

We must get this information in our classrooms as well as our training sessions. This applies to anything from the internet to our rooms. If we get sloppy on the internet, no one will want to look at our stuff. There is evidence that these people are also healthier as they spend more time thinking about how they look. We must get a class in our high schools called life skills that takes care of issues like this. As employers, we must make this concept clear to our employees as we want the environment to be as clean as possible.

Ideas to prevent “the video game effect”

Employees and kids are usually willing to work with us especially if we approach them in the right ways.  There are a few steps that I believe we can take to prevent this effect with our kids and employees spending their entire days staring at a screen.  I truly believe we must teach our kids the balance between screens and the importance of people skills, excersize and getting outside.

The first thing I would say to prevent this from happening is we must regulate, educate, and teach our kids the meaningful balance of technology and excersize.  We must stress that both are important.  The second thing I would say is we  need to get our kids and employees communicating again.  This doesn’t mean that they sit in front of a computer and talk to people on email or skype.  This means they get up and meet others, shake their hands, look them in the eyes and learn the things that are so important when you meet someone.  The last thing I would suggest would be to teach our kids how to get better at communicating even when they are on line.  They should always write proper and if they are using something like skype, they should look the other person in the eyes. 

These are just a few suggestions.  I know that there are many ideas out there and I am looking forward to being involved in this conversation!

“The Video Game Effect”

Although I do believe that there is a time and a place for video games, I think that they are abused, to say the least.  It is becoming so easy for our parents to just stick their kids on a video game so they don’t have to watch or worry about them.  You wonder why we are so concerned about the future.  Video games are becoming a huge problem. Our children are now inside instead of out, trying to figure out how Mario will jump through the hoop instead of being outside jumping through the hoop themselves.  Many of the important life skills we learn are from being outside and experimenting with things when we are little.

This is also a huge problem for employers.  As employees from the Y generation begin to get jobs in the corporate world, there must be a close watch on what these people are doing on their computers.  We must get our people to get outside of this environment every once in a while and away from screens as we must get them dealing face to face again.  These are things that both education and businesses are fighting and we must get together to make people understand that technology is good, but too much of it can hurt us as a society.  We are becoming way too soft!!!

Blogging about the issues I will be blogging about

The main passion in my life is working with other people, especially the youth.  The psychology of each individual is fascinating to me and when you throw in technology it becomes mind blowing.  To think that our kids sit and play on technology all day yet do not know where to start when it comes to looking for a job or solving a problem is a problem!

The environment is constantly changing and I truly believe we are at a revolutionary time.  We must study and discuss what works and what doesn’t.  We must not criticize each other for trying new things as there will be times when they do not work.

We must be dedicated in this field, not only teachers but employers and trainers.  We must get and understand these concepts.  My goal and purpose is to get the discussion out on to the table and let the issues be discussed by our leaders in families, employment and education.  .

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