Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Continuing "The Dumbest Generation ... "

It isn't enough to say that these young people are uninterested in world realities. They are actively cut off from them (EMPHASIS ADDED) (Bauerlein, 2009, p. 13).
Has technology really cut us off? Has our use of technology changed our sense of right and wrong? Some could say that the USE, or OVER use of technology blurs our sense of reality. Think about it, we are connected day and night, 24-7. It's hard to believe life without our cell phones. We are always checking email. These things we do at the expense of ... what?

The truth may be that technology has changed us, changed how we learn, and how we life and interact with others.

Most young Americans possess little of the knowledge that makes for an informed citizen, and too few of them master the skills needed to negotiate an information-heavy, communication-based society and economy (EMPHASIS ADDED) (Bauerlein, 2009, p. 16).
Have we taught people how to become informed members of society? Who is ultimately responsible for the citizens, whether informed or uniformed? Society expects us, but may not adequately or fully prepare us, to be contributing, informed citizens. We are told to 'go to school, and get an education.' But, do we know why we NEED an education? Has society, or the school prepared us?

A society is a number of people held together because they are working along common lines, in a common spirit, and with reference to common aims (Dewey, 1990, p. 14).
Ultimately, it's our responsibility. We need to demonstrate APPROPRIATE uses of technology. We need to be able to use technology to find information, sort information, create information and use information - all interchangeably and simultaneously.

Knowledge has become so specialized and niche-oriented that knowledge purveyors don't notice a decline of general knowledge among large population segments (Bauerlein, 2009, p. 34).
Integrated learning. Liberal education has the potential to REFOCUS on the general and find ways to apply and integrate and extend it to the specific.

Technology can make a difference - when used correctly.



Bauerlein, M. (2009). The dumbest generation: How the digital age stupefies young Americans and jeopardizes our future, or, don't trust anyone under 30. New York, NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin.

Dewey, J. (1990). The school and society: The child and the curriculum: An expanded edition with a new introduction by Philip W. Jackson. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

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