Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reflection on The Dumbest Generation

The book I chose to read for our literature study was The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein. To be candid, I did not enjoy reading this book at all. I feel the author has an extremely negative outlook on young people that are 30 and under. I believe he looks for negativity, and therefore finds it, in a "glass is half empty" point of view. However, like I heard Oprah say once, if an author can get you to feel this much emotion about their writing, even if it's negative, they must have done something right.

I am a parent of someone under the age of 20 and I believe that technology and the new digital culture is at an exciting place and that it is these young people that will take us into an exciting future! Like anything in life, there are exceptions to the rule and those that take shortcuts, but let's not forget those responsible young people that want to make the world a better place. Not everyone is being "dumbed down" and spending all of their time in social networking. The author stereotypes young people so much it is infuriating! The world has changed so much and we have got to keep up with it!

If there is one thing this book has done for me, it is to make me even more aware of the huge responsibility that we as parents and teachers have in teaching our kids and students how to be responsible technology users and responsible people and citizens. Parents and teachers must work together on this and we must also teach the concepts of the need for the balance between technology and the "old way" of doing things. I believe kids must be exposed to and taught at a very young age and have opportunities for trial and error when it comes to technology. I am amazed at what my high school aged daughter knows about technology and some of her school assignments she has to complete using the computer. However, I also want her to be able to function by reading a book and doing her own research, should the Internet go down! Thus the need for balance and teaching kids to be responsible people with the ability of using technology, or not, to better our world.

In summary, I'm sure I will think about this book as I continue to teach and seek new, interesting, and exciting ways to help my first and second grade students learn how to be responsible technology users, and to try and rid the stereotype of being "The Dumbest Generation" for their generation and beyond.

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