How “Beyond MySpace” Evolved to Passive Tech Programming

Once upon a time I had the responsibility of planning an all day event called the Teen Summit. Around five years later I can almost think about it without my blood pressure going up. We had a large variety of speakers and at the particular facility we were using we also had a computer lab.

We wanted to use the computer lab for a session and after consulting with what was then known as my library’s Computer Learning Connection we developed a session called “Beyond MySpace”.  The idea was to show teens some useful sites that they might use during their library computer time which at that point was nearly all MySpace all the time.

Yes, they were still on MySpace – the digital divide is alive and well in Cleveland and over and over I’ve observed our teens behind the trends in website usage because of it. It was a very successful session, and by collaborating with CLC I also met one of my closest friends.

Fast forward to Teen Tech Week 2012, where it’s now all Facebook all the time. I decided to simplify the workshop concept and run a small contest in the department to introduce teens to some other websites that they might enjoy or find useful. I made a sign for each computer station with very simple directions:

1. Take a look at our list of great websites.

2. Visit the sites and fill out a review for as many as you’d like.

3. Each review enters you for a chance to win.

4. One lucky winner will receive a $10 McDonalds Gift card and a prize bag.

5. Two other winners will receive a prize bag.

Enter your reviews here:

http://tinyurl.com/7ob5h3v

The link goes to a Google Form which is still there if you want to take a look.

Keeping in mind some these were much more exciting in March 2012 here are some of the websites I suggested with the description from my sign:

BibMe

  • Search for a source like a book, article, or website; or enter the information yourself.
  • Add it to your bibliography.
  • Download your bibliography in the MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian format.

Evernote

  • Take notes on the computer or on your phone.
  • Take and save pictures with a camera phone.
  • Clip web pages and save them as notes.
  • Sync notes to all your devices.
  • Notes are taggable and searchable.

Spark Notes

  • Get study guides on a long list of literature.
  • Find study guides on everything from biology to math.
  • Prepare for the SATs, ACTs, or AP tests.

Figment

  • Upload your original writing and work on it from any computer.
  • Share your writing with a group or with the world.
  • Get feedback on your writing.
  • Discuss writing related subjects in the forums.

Pandora

  • Listen to streaming music for free.
  • Tell Pandora what kind of music you like and it will play similar songs.
  • Create your own custom stations.
  • Find new songs and artists.

 Pinterest

  • Search for pictures of things that interest you.
  • Repin the pictures to your own personal inspiration boards.
  • Pin pictures of things you want to remember from other websites.
  • Share your pins on Twitter or Facebook.

Polyvore

  • Browse and create fashion trends.
  • Search or browse for pieces.
  • Create and share your own looks and fashion spreads.

Stumble Upon

  • Tell Stumble Upon what you are interested in.
  • Let it guide you to websites on your topic from other members.

Xtranormal

  • Create an animated movie by choosing sets, characters, and more.
  • Create dialogue by typing and watch characters speak your words.
  • Save and publish your movie online.

INudge

  • Select squares on the matrix to create original music.
  • Share and embed your creations.
  • Listen to other people’s music.