Friday, January 7, 2011

final reflection

I thought that the book was interesting but it seemed that the author presented a very one-sided view of today's youth. He provided many different statistics to support his opinions but it felt forced to me because he didn't balance his work with any other arguments. I think that this lack of balance in his writing is interesting because in the final chapter Bauerlein chastises students for failing to "ponder inconsistencies within their own camps" (p. 229)

Overall I do think that he makes some valid points regarding changes that have occurred in education and in society. He did give me food for thought though about subjects such as how little positive impact one-to-one programs have had on student test scores and about how much free time we have and how we use it. Some of the information that I found the most interesting was about how much reading impacts lives. Bauerlein wrote about reading again on p 59. "Reading researchers call it the "Matthew Effect," in which those who acquire reading skills in childhood read and learn later in life at a faster pace than those who do not." On p 202 he quoted Stephen and Linda Bennett writing, "People who read books for pleasure are more likely than non-readers to report voting, being registered to vote, 'always' voting, to pay greater attention to news stories about national, international, and local politics, and to be better informed." He also wrote that, "Knowledge-workers, wordsmiths, policy wonks.... they don't emerge from nowhere. They need a long foreground of reading and writing," Not all of this information was new to me but I did not expect to see it in this book about "How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future".


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