Sunday, June 7, 2009

Professor Makes Blanket Assertions

As does everyone who writes about generational cohorts.

Link to June 6 Oshkosh Northwestern article, "Professor lays blame on technology for stupefying teens in new book".

Excerpt: That is Mark Bauerlein’s contention in “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30),” recently released in paperback (Tarcher/Penguin, 236 pp., $24.95).

Bauerlein, an English professor at Emory University in Atlanta, says Generation Y, ages 16-29, has been shaped by exposure to computer technology since elementary school.

The cost, he says, outweighs the convenience. Kids are writing more than ever online or in text messages, but it’s not the kind of narrative skill needed as adults, he says. “Those forms groove bad habits, so when it comes time to produce an academic paper ... or when they enter the workplace, their capacity breaks down.”

The article adds an alternative point of view.

But Gary Small, director of the Center of Aging at the University of California-Los Angeles and co-author of “iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind,” says teens are just as smart as they ever were.

They’re just smart in different ways, Small says. In some ways technology is hindering education, but in some ways it’s advancing it, he says. “It teaches our brain a different way of processing things.” link to "The Greater Debate".

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