The Impact of Technology and Social Media in the United States

Choose ONE of the three topics for your reflection paper:

1. You have heard many different terms related to civic engagement so far in this course. In a 2-3 page essay, using examples and citations from the CIVC 101 readings and videos (or from readings/research of your own), explore the similarities and differences among the following terms:

giving back
civic engagement
active citizenship
Give examples of each in addition to exploring similarities and differences between terms. You must include ALL terms in your paper. There is no right or wrong answer – the purpose is to demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of civic engagement and what it entails.

2. The Corporation for National and Community Service Fact Sheet states that “As more and more Americans dedicate more of their time to digital communications, community leaders will need to find new ways to fulfill community needs using online technology.”

Reflect upon this statement.
What impact do you see technology and social media (Facebook, Twitter, the Internet, cell phones, tablets) having upon civic life in the United States?
Do you think that these modern advances impact civic life positively or negatively?
Can there be impactful forms of online civic engagement?
Give examples from the CIVC 101 materials (video, links from week 3/4, etc), from your own research, or from your service experience, that support your arguments.
3. George Mehaffy of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, in a New York Times article, shares his “concern about decreasing rates of participation in the civic life of America in voting, in advocacy, in volunteerism in local grassroots associations, and in other forms of civic engagement that are necessary for the vitality of our democracy.” Some schools and universities require community service and even some countries require citizens to engage in paid, mandatory public service (as separate from or an alternative to military service). The idea of implementing mandatory public service has been debated among U.S. educators and government officials over the years as well.

Reflect on the statement made by George Mehaffy. Research one country that has mandatory public service. Describe how it works and the length of service required. Discuss what you see as the pros and cons of paid, mandatory public service (for example, in programs like AmeriCorps or Peace Corps). What do you think the impact of mandatory public service would be on US society? What do you think the impact would be on civic engagement participation? What are some other possible ways to encourage civic engagement? Give examples from the CIVC 101 materials (video, links from week 3/4, etc), from your own research, and/or from your service experience, that support your arguments.

Grading Criteria for Assignment 1

Focus and content: adequately answers all required questions/prompts – 7 points

Paper answers all questions or parts of the selected topic
Examples and points discussed are logical and easy to follow
Depth of personal reflection and understanding – 5 points

Examples include connections to personal experience and show proof of learning or reflection
Paper includes thorough discussion of points from your perspective
Readings, videos from CIVC 101 or personal experience or your own research are used to illustrate points
Mechanics & Format: Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary – 3 points

Includes complete and well-structured sentences, and proper punctuation, spelling, grammar, vocabulary
If readings, videos or other sources are referenced, proper in-text citations and a reference list are included (Helpful resource for APA format