Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Top 10 Negative Effects of Facebook on Teens

teen computer

I think this should be a useful article to parents, teens, teachers and all who are concerned about teens. This article is written by published on:

Read on.

Young teenagers spend a lot of time in browsing the network, particularly, the Facebook, as they find it the best form of communication mode. The most popular mode of networking is, undoubtedly, the Facebook apart from Twitter. It is fun to use Facebook and Twitter, but there are negative influences if one spends too much time on them.
Social media is becoming popular and even official communication is carried out on them as well as personal. Yet, over usage of any media does have its impact, both positive and negative.

Before observing the negative effects of Facebook, let us have cursory look at the positive effects of Facebook.

Positive effects of Facebook:
  • Improvements in moods: As one is able to communicate with far off friends. By being in touch with friends one feels good. Mood uplifts and one feels close to one’s loved ones
  • Shyness goes away: Many teenagers go through a phase when they do not want to interact with others. Browsing on Facebook helps them communicate with others without interaction. Perhaps, the interaction can be after a relationship has developed so that the comfort levels are high when one meets each other. It is a good forum for shy children to socialize
  • Permits one to develop self-identity: Facebook is a ground for face-to-face communication which improves self-identity. One can improves one’s communication skill and also relate better to people
10 Negative effects of Facebook on Teens
  • Isolation: One can suffer from isolation as one will tend to be glued to the computer and move out of the house and meet people. Normal socializing that is interacting with people is also essential. A shy child might prefer to communicate only through Facebook only and otherwise
  • Putting on weight: One may put on weight also as one will sit in front of the computer for a long time and eat. Naturally, one will not have much exercise and they will suffer from obesity
  • Abnormal symptoms: Surfing Facebook does show abnormal symptoms among many teenagers such as depression, excessive aggression, abnormal anxiety or even normal anxiety. Those suffering from social anxiety tend to immerse themselves in front of Facebook. Teenagers usual have emotional problems and are very conscious of their self-image, their bodies and their looks. If socially, they feel inferior they tend to avoid social interactions. Obviously, they would like to spend hours sitting writing for the Facebook
  • Bad for the eyes: Too much exposure to the computer is bad for the eyes. Teenagers must go out and spend time in outdoor activities and relish the fresh air, rather than remain glued to the computer
  • Communication with strangers: On Facebook communication, it is possible that one might end up building up relationships with strangers , who can turn out to be criminals as well. Teenagers are vulnerable and are easily susceptible to outside influences. Their lifestyles are changing and want to build up relationships with people who are very hi-fi in their outlook. In this process, they try to communicate with strangers who perhaps can be very harmful to them
  • Lacks emotional connection: There is lack of emotional connectivity since one does not meet the other person. Feelings when shared in person have more impact than on Facebook. The feelings of care and warmth are there when the communication is face to face. There is a decrease in face-to face communication. Face-to- face communication helps better messaging
  • Promotes laziness: Sitting in front of computer and browsing through Facebook can lead to laziness. It is a sheer waste of time
  • Causes distractions: Browsing Facebook does distract one’s mind from many other activities. One can be involved in constructive activities that keeps one’s mind healthy. Merely spending hours on Facebook and conversing via it is not healthy
  • Lack of body language communication: Body language conveys a lot. In Facebook browsing there is no body language communication as one does not interact with another person
  • Unhealthy sex approach: On Facebook one tends to communicate on unhealthy sexual practices. There is no healthy sexual interaction as one is not meeting each other physically. Merely communicating via Facebook can prove to be detrimental to one’s overall self-image and also to mental growth. Perverted practices can be discussed or the person on the other side may be a pervert and wants to communicate sexually. Later on he or she may take undue advantage of the person’s weaknesses and try to meet the person
It is but natural that Facebook can have a positive effect as well as negative effect. Definitely, one must be careful of the negative impact of Facebook.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Technology

We live in days when we cannot ignore the effects of technology on education. Technology has and changes the way teachers teach and students learn. For some educators who may wish to use technology in their teaching, the challenge is how does one best use the available technologies? What of the skills to use the technology? In some cases students are more conversant with technology than their teachers. "Most questions about Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education have shifted from how to use technologies to understanding how to teach and learn with technologies. While there is an increasing recognition of the role of ICT in transforming both the teaching and learning practices, the lack of pedagogical knowledge among educators and practitioners is the foremost reason why emerging technologies remain unexplored in education or under utilised. 

The other challenge is the inadequate theorisation of the phenomenon of teaching with ICT as opposed to teaching ICT. This is particularly pronounced in the education systems in developing nations where much focus of ICT in education has tended to emphasise technologies that institutions provide (e.g. computers) which student do not often personally own. Thus, this postgraduate programme, jointly offered by the School of Education and the Centre for Educational Technology, and facilitated by some the leading experts in the field is one of the programmes of its kind in Africa aimed at addressing the said educational conundrum" (University Of Cape Town, 2016).

The University of Cape Town through the School of Education offers a 1 year Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Technology which could be useful to educators wishing to gain knowledge and skills in the use of educational technology. The primary objective of the Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Technology as outlined on the website is to provide potential and practicing educators, corporate trainers, and anyone responsible to e-Learning with an opportunity to understand the effects that any use of emerging technologies have on the practice of learning, and how pedagogies need to be aligned to ensure positive learning outcomes. Thus, the programme responds to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century education in developing nations through the lens of global trends.  

The programme comprises four courses, each of which must be completed.
  • Emerging Technologies in Education
  • Learning Teaching & Emerging Technologies
  • Online Learning Design
  • Research & Evaluation of Emerging Technologies
These courses are offered in block release mode i.e. pre-contact online activities, 1-week contact sessions, and post-contact independent tasks. 

2016  Dates

DateCourse Description
8 - 13 February
EDN4500W: Emerging Technologies in Education
4 - 9 AprilEDN4503W: Learning Teaching & Emerging Technologies
13 - 18 JuneEDN4501W: Online Learning Design
22 - 27 AugustEDN4502W: Research & Evaluation of Emerging Technologies
For detailed descriptions, please see the Faculty of Humanities Postgraduate Studies handbook, pages 172-173.


Competitive scholarships, courtesy of the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) through generous support of the Carnegie and Mellon foundations, are available to students who are citizens of an African nation (Terms & Conditions apply). Please contact Ms Wilma Adams (email: for application forms/procedure.
(PLEASE note that you apply to UCT and for the Carnegie/Mellon Scholarship separately. The Scholarship is a departmental initiative and is dependent on UCT admission granting us your application qualification.

Application Procedure

To make a formal application you need to complete the UCT application for postgraduate admission on or before the 31 October. Please follow the links below and complete the forms with the greatest care to detail.

Please find online application information and links below:

For any queries with your online application, please contact the Admissions Office on (021) 650 2128 or one of the staff members will be able to talk you through the process.

Other links:

When you have completed these forms, and submitted the forms with supporting documents online, please ensure that hard-copies of your certified qualifications are timeously submitted to the Admissions Office as they need to conduct thorough verification of qualification procedures. Please do not hesitate to contact the Admissions Office  (021) 650 2128 or timeously should you experience any problems with your application procedure.

Please ensure that your formal application to the postgraduate programme at UCT is as complete, clear and unambiguous as possible as your application will be judged on this to determine if it is added to the short-list or not. Short-listed candidates will be asked to complete a pre-admission task and contacted for Skype interviews in November 2015. The grading committee will make recommendations to the postgraduate office who will notify applicants regarding the outcome of their application.  

Closing Date: 31 October 2016

Please consult the Stream Leader Associate Prof Dick Ng'ambi for any queries relating to these programmes.
School of Education
Tel: +27(0)21 650 4760

Admission queries:

Mr Msakha Mona

Humanities: Postgraduate Office
Tel: +27(0)21 650 2462
Fax: +27 (0)21 650 5751

All the best! 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Open and Distance Learning in Technical and Vocational Education and Training

Learning through Open and Distance Learning has been considered by some as not a viable way of learning. Some still think that (real) learning only takes place in a face-to-face classroom situation with a teacher using board and chalk (or PowerPoint slides). So to begin to talk of Open and Distance Learning in a Technical and Vocational Education and Training context would appear to suggest that the person talking of such has taken leave of their senses. But that is not the case. Learning can take place using ODL in Technical and Vocational Education and Training. It not only can but is taking place. 

It must be noted that some of the learners that seek to learn new skills are self-employed or employed in an  organisation where taking off time for long periods of 1-3 years is not practical. In addition, these learners have practical work experience and would like to upgrade their knowledge and skills in a changing working environment. Therefore, learning using open and distance learning provides the best means of doing so. If we bear in mind the affordances that technology affords the teacher and learner, then we realise that simulation of what takes place in the working place can be demonstrated using technology by watching videos for example. Let me give an example of learning how to prepare nshima (maize porridge or pap as it is called in some Southern African nations). One can learn how to cook nshima by watching a Youtube video. That person needs the knowledge of how to search for information on the Internet and some knowledge of cooking. Could we argue that such practical skills can one be learnt in a face-to-face learning environment? Haven’t you the reader learnt some things which you have viewed online?

Are we saying then that there is no need for face-to-face learning in a Technical and Vocational Education and Training context? The need is there. Many will learn that way. But for some learners it may not be the most practical way to learn due to many reasons as explained above. Therefore distance learning, flexible learning and eLearning are viable  learning pathways to take which ensure that authentic leaning is taking place. 

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