Interview with Larry Rosen
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Dr. Rosen has been a Professor of Psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills since 1975. He is a research psychologist who specializes in generational differences, parenting, child and adolescent development, and he writes a blog for Psychology Today magazine. Dr. Rosen is often seen and heard as a talking head on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, the NYT, Newsweek, Time, etc.
He's written several previous books:
- Me, MySpace and I: Parenting the Net Generation
- TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @Work @Home @Play
- The Mental Health Technology Bible
His new book is REWIRED: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn. In his book, he highlights educational approaches that use the iGeneration's technological strenghts, rather than ignoring them. Welcome Dr. Rosen.
Who exactly falls into this iGeneration?
The iGeneration is a new what we call a "mini-generation", and it is the teen-agers born and raised in the 90's. So you're looking at kids who were born anywhere between about 1990, which would make them upper teens, all the way down to 1999 or 2000, which would make them pre-teens, older pre-teens, or teens.
Tell us about your book. What does "rewired" refer to?
So this lack of boredom comes from students' perpetually "multitasking", a word used a lot in your book -- the idea that kids aren't happy just working on a single task, like homework. Instead, they'd prefer to do their homework while listening to music and instant messaging friends, or with the TV on mute in the background, basically having multiple things going on, as well as the primary task of homework.
How can it be, and I'm going to speak for all the skeptical adults and parents out there, how can it be that multitasking could POSSIBLY work as well as unitasking (which is
We had some great questions posted by LibraryThing members.
And they ask: 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?
The next question is related to this, and also from Kaelirenee. How do you suggest teaching "deep reading" techniques that are necessary for reading at the college level?
Some of the technologies you're talking about, like Second Life, require more than casual access at the library. There are kids whose families can't afford these technologies, and kids in rural areas where you still can't get high-speed internet--where are they in this big upswing in wanting to use technology for education?
Here's a question from wrmjr66 Do you notice any socio-economic differences in computer/device use, multi-tasking and other traits that you analyze?
richardderus I have a NetGen daughter and three iGen grandkids. What can we expect from these ultrawired kids? 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?
What would you like to turn the focus of your research to next?
The LibraryThing tagline is 'what's on your bookshelf'. In this case, it might be fair to say "what's on your virtual bookshelf". What kinds of books are you reading, and are you reading ebooks or pbooks (that's paper books)?
We're doing an author chat with Dr Rosen, from August 23rd through Sept 5th of 2010, if you want to stop by and ask him a question, the link is on the interview page. After the chat is over, you'll still be able to read the questions and answers.