Thursday, November 11, 2010

Section 3 - Screen Time

This chapter talks about the amount of time children of different ages spend watching tv, playing video games, surfing the internet, and doing other things involving time in front of a screen. There are a lot of studies and statistics mentioned, and most are given in a positive way that seems to support the idea that these new technologies are great for boosting human intelligence. I will not get into all of the statistics mentioned. The main thing that this chapter was about concerns how different groups view the integration of new technologies into our daily lives and how these technologies will affect our intelligence. The majority of the chapter cited studies and articles done by groups or indiviuals who strongly believe in the Digital Revolution as a new means of expanding human knoledge. The last few pages of the chapter simply ask us, "where are the result?". Many years have passed since the beginning of the digital revolution, and more and more studies are showing that things like spelling, grammar, and arithmetic are steadily declining.

That was my basic understanding of this chapter. I liked how it was structured because it made me try to think about some positive affects that playing video games, surfing the web, using social networking sites, and other things of the like. I really struggled with some of the wonderful and positive results that were being listed as a result of playing video games, and was pleased to read a more realistic description towards the end of the chapter.


  1. I agree that this book is full of statistics and that it can be difficult to sort out. I understand that things like spelling, grammar, and other mechanics are going downhill due to things like spell check. It is very important for people to be able to proofread their work and to know if something is appropriate or not, but I also think if technology can provide an easier way to do this and be a second check, then why not use it? Kids today look at the world totally differently than I did growing up. I feel so old for saying that! I do think video games can be wonderful for kids as far as reading, decision making, following directions, and the thinking parts of it. Like anything in this world, moderation is important!

  2. Children do spend a lot of time in front of the screen. I spend a lot of time in front of the screen. Of course, I am part of "The Dumbest Generation." Quite frankly, I'm offended every time someone says we are not as smart as the generation before us. Not only am I offended as a participant. I'm offended as a teacher. I feel like my students are just as smart as those who were in first grade thirty years ago. The difference is that today, we have more choice of options as teachers that engage our students during learning time. Whatever happens at home is not something we can control. We can encourage our students to spend time outside. But, can we control what happens in the home? No. I've come to accept, as a teacher and a parent, it is a balancing act. The teacher needs to teach what the students need to know. The parents need to encourage physical activity at home.
    There are many technology tools available to students that help them in their learning. For example, I just found out how Microsoft Word offers citation help when writing papers. Is it important for students to know how to write a citation? In my opinion, no. They need to know the information of the citation, but not how to write it. Many people can't even explain why you cite something the way, and in the order you do, in a citation. So why not use the tools available? We need to encourage our students to use the resources they now have available. I would have loved to have these resources when I was in school. However, I'm not going to down grade the tools they have now. I will encourage my students, and my son, to use them. The students need to know how to use them and how to double check their work on their own.

  3. I agreed that this chapter had some positive things to say about the millenial age. The author did well with crediting this generation with knowledge and intellect. However, about half way through he again brings reading back into the picture and again hints that if you don't read you are "dumb." Finally, at the top of page 103 he gets it and admits that ebooks are going to be the way of the future and "a book" may not be the answer.
    And by the way, this book is available for digital download. A little ironic I think.

  4. I agree with much of what the chapter said, but again, I don't think that parents of this generation should get off th hook so easily. As a parent, it is my job to limit screen time. The TV/computer is not a babysitter. I have always limited my kids screen time, and I will continue to limit his screen time and I hope that his love for reading continues and lasts for a lifetime.