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September 01, 2016


Dr. M

Good thoughts Kendra. You wrote:

"age does not equate to technological literacy. Six-year-olds did not create the iPhone, a man in his late 40s/early 50s did, likely with the help of several other individuals spanning from their 20s to their 60s. The age of the individuals doesn’t matter as much as general curiosity and interest in the technology."

I'm glad you brought up the idea of "technological literacy" --- as we discussed in class, Prensky seems to take a rather loose and uncritical attitude towards (among other things!) this issue. He makes no distinction between the consumer users---the "digital comfy" and the critical, thoughtful users---the "digital savvy." There is a difference between being able to do "tricks" and understanding the larger structures and implications of what you are doing. Do Prensky's games encourage students to be "curious" about technology in the "savvy" sense, to step back, ask critical questions, pursue logic (even when it is step by step), reflect, ask smart questions, contextualize historically, stay on task, etc.? Based on the examples he gives in the text, I would doubt it. His biggest success seems to be a "shooter" game that trained engineers to memorize buttons on a computer program. Is that his paradigm for education? Can such a method really be used to teach complex and serious subjects like "The Spanish Inquisition" and "The Holocaust" in a non-trivial way?

Dr. M

Grade: 3.

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Media Ecology Quote of the Day

  • “Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials. . . . When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility. ― Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

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