Dr. Larry Rosen, author of Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn

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Dr. Larry Rosen, author of Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn

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jun 22, 2010, 10:28am

Dr. Rosen's book looks at the changes to children's brains because of the technology available to them in Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn.

I'll be interviewing Dr. Rosen for the August State of the Thing newsletter, so please post questions before July 29th.

jun 23, 2010, 4:26pm

What are some of the things that I as a teacher should keep in mind when I'm planning lessons for the high school students in my English class? A general guideline and maybe something directly related to writing and/or reading would be helpful.

jul 9, 2010, 10:06am

Most of our tenured professors are very reluctant to change how they've taught for decades and view the younger students (and younger faculty) as mentally lazy because they acquire and use information differently. Do you have suggestions on how best to address this misconception and encourage them to change their teaching styles?

Do you have any suggestions for classrooms with multiple generations in them? Our classes frequently have seniors, boomers, and Gen-x along with our traditional students.

I'll think of some more when I get the book and start getting more ideas. I'm very excited about this! Learner-Centered teaching is a huge push at my university.

Redigeret: jul 17, 2010, 3:22pm

I find that a lot of times, using computers is incorporated into learning and classroom activities to supposedly make things more interactive. I wonder if this is always the best approach. Computers are great but sometimes I want to feel like I'm learning and that everything doesn't have to be a computer game. Are there certain situations when computers should be used in a learning environment and others when they should not be used?

Also, if a person is trying to rewire their brain to be less computer dependent, would it make sense to totally eliminate computers for a time or just gradually?

In some countries the effects of abuse and overuse of technology are manifested as computer addiction, with actual physiologic effects. If it is true that there is an addictive process occurring in these extreme cases, it would seem that there are changes going on in the dopamine centers in the brain of these people. To what extent are these changes occurring in the brains of young people in this generation and does it affect overall learning ability permanently?


Redigeret: jul 27, 2010, 5:13pm

My first question is:

Do you notice any socio-economic differences in computer/device use, multi-tasking and other traits that you analyze?

I'll come up with more as I read more deeply.

Other questions:

What would you say to school systems that block content like youtube so that teachers cannot use those sites in their classrooms?

How can teachers make the classroom a more immersive environment? Are there ways to take advantage of sensory input unavailable online (e.g., olfactory)?

How does Rosen suggest teachers balance their need to cover requirements (e.g., NCLB requirements) with the problem that students who multi-task take longer to learn material?

jul 22, 2010, 9:53pm

I have a NetGen daughter and three iGen grandkids. I'm still giving my delighted daughter tree books, but my grandkids are starting to roll their eyes at such a concept. Reading your book makes me wonder if the next birthday gift should be a BlackBerry for the 9-yr-old. His parents think it's time.

What can we expect from these ultrawired kids? Are they doomed to multitask? Their schools aren't supporting this trend even slightly, and I suspect most are not. I don't love the idea, but I don't love the idea of failing to equip them with proper tools, either. I don't know what an ancient Boomer can do about this...I already vote in local elections, but no one is even *discussing* this sea-change in kids on any school board I am near! Any pointers for places to go, people to see, money to spend?

jul 26, 2010, 12:02pm

I've just finished the book and there are a couple of questions/points I have.

How does he suggest teaching "deep reading" techniques that are necessary for reading at the college level?

The contributions of librarians to media and technology literacy are pretty much ignored in this book. I'm not sure what they do in his university, but at mine, we actively teach faculty and students these evaluation skills (and more) based on ACRL's Information Literacy guidelines. School media specialists (what used to be called school librarians) do the same and are also now learning and teaching more about media tools to use in the classroom. As we are talking about resources to use to enhance digital and mobile learning, don't overlook some of the most active and enthusiastic people out there.

jul 27, 2010, 10:53am

I interview Dr. Rosen on Thursday, so please post any last questions you have before then.

jul 27, 2010, 11:38am

I entirely buy the idea that students from this generation are wired differently as a result of their exposure to different kinds of media. Yet, attention, focus and sustained effort is central to higher learning. How can we motivate these kids to engage in the kinds of learning that requires a sustained commitment to thought?

Redigeret: jul 29, 2010, 12:59pm

Some questions that came to mind as I read the book:

1. Does encouraging students to discuss things "behind the screen" promote the snarky behavior we see in the comments posted to articles on news websites?

2. In The New Virtual Classroom: Evidence-based Guidelines for Synchronous e-Learning (Pfeiffer Essential Resources for Training and HR Professionals), Ruth Clark suggests that to prevent multitasking in other areas you increase the interactivity of the course so in essence, the learners don't have time for non-related tasks.

What if four different teachers texted questions to a student in a single hour instead of having a student concentrate on a single subject for an hour each? Would the research support a strategy like this? Does the multitasking have to only be with other students?

3. My husband is an airline pilot. When I told him about the kind of multitasking described in the first chapters, his initial response was "that's not multitasking." He backed off a bit on that statement later, but his point was that most of the things described are just communicating asynchronously with many people using different technologies. He described typical multitasking for him at the beginning of a flight--boarding passengers, receiving a flight plan over a computer, checking with dispacthers about the weather, communicating with mechanics. In other words it's not just communicating or commenting for fun or to maintain a social presence. Is there any research to say that this "fun" multitasking communication they do now will help make them expert multitaskers when it really counts (i.e. safety of passengers in an airliner is at stake)?

4. I work in a training organization for a Fortune 10 corporation. We have made most of our training virtual for a variety of reasons and often to the consternation of our learners. Even though we offer training in many, many online formats, we are constantly bombarded with "We want hands-on training." Are there guidelines or boundaries for where virtual should stop and hands-on should start? In a school setting I'm thinking about things like marching band, shop class, driver's ed.

5. I'm the mother of two NetGeners who don't seem to spend as much time online as the NetGeners described in your book. Both were highly involved in sports during high school. I'm wondering if there is a negative correlation between children involved in sporting activities (because they often require practice, concentration, and repetition) and the amount of time a those children spend online compared to their peers. ...Or are my kids just weird? :)

6. Your first chapters remind me of the first chapters of Engines for Education by Roger Schank. He also expounded on how students were bored with school. His prescription, as I remember it, was that learning needed to be more authentic (if you're going to teach chemistry, teach them to be a chemist) and they children need to create to learn (similar to your later chapters).

His book was written about 15 years ago. Are students always going to be bored? Is that just the nature of the game as time and technology rush forward? Or are the problems of how kids learn best the same and education just won't or can't budge?

jul 29, 2010, 3:01pm

Spounds--I love your questions, especially as they are related to you and your husband's work environments. I'm eager to hear his answers. These are the kinds of questions that often come up when we discuss new teaching techniques in faculty meetings.

jul 29, 2010, 3:39pm

May be too late, but a follow-up to my Q4. Do you think the demand for hands-on training will subside as more of the iGeners move out of the school classroom and into the corporate classroom?

jul 29, 2010, 4:57pm

Ach! I interviewed Dr. Rosen already. On the upside, he'll be doing an author chat starting August 23rd, so you can ask him your questions there. Look for his interview in podcast form, in the August State of the Thing. I'll also have a blog post about it.

aug 12, 2010, 11:42am

Author chat reimder to self: LTer Luxx posted this link on her thread...a high-school valedictorian assesses frankly, and scathingly, the education she received...and it's worthwhile reading.