Editor’s note: This is the first of a continuing series of guest columns from members of the Mayor’s Youth Council. Look for the monthly columns on the Conversation page.
Entering a new school year, students are sure to expect a host of exciting and novel opportunities. Chief among these are the new iPads that have been issued to Northfield High School and Northfield Middle School students as part of the district’s “Transformational Technology” initiative.
The tablets will allow teachers to integrate these devices increasingly into their classrooms and the daily lives of 21st century students.
The Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC), a city board consisting of current junior and senior students concerned with voicing youth perspectives on important issues and collaborating with community partners to implement projects and ideas, has been brainstorming ways in which to make this transition smooth not just for Northfield’s youth, but for everyone involved in this initiative.
The MYC will launch a mindfulness campaign this fall specific to the introduction of the iPads, but with more enduring significance applicable to many aspects of education and life in general. The goal of this campaign is to introduce the concept of mindfulness to students, that is, the intentional thought of how our actions may affect ourselves and others and the ability to evaluate our choices based upon those outcomes.
In regards to the Transformational Technology initiative, mindfulness elevates the word “respect” to a whole new level, incorporating the iPads themselves, teachers, and students alike. Mindfulness promotes the responsibility and accountability of students by encouraging good care, ownership and patience with their iPads, while discouraging the mistreatment of technology and of others through technological means.
The MYC plans to advocate mindfulness through a series of short videos and will eventually extend the focus of the idea to other areas of student life, such as academics and social life. We encourage any community members interested in collaborating with the MYC on this campaign to contact us at northfieldyouth.org.
Scout Gregerson is a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council. She is one of many Northfield High School juniors and seniors concerned with voicing youth perspectives on important issues and collaborating with community partners.