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Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and…

Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn

by Larry D. Rosen

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8615207,117 (2.63)29
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    The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: To effectively communicate, you must understand the medium you are using and fully use its potential. You must also select a medium appropriate to the message to successfully communicate.

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All about how upper-middle class white American kids who get straight As in their honors and AP classes are bored with school (WHAT?!?! Students have NEVER been bored with school since the DAWN OF TIME!!) and how to fix that by letting them play with their cell phones and video games in class. According to this book, 95% of all classrooms have a computer. That's just one tidbit I learned from this book. But it has references. Which means it's all completely true and it could not possibly be that Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D. paraphrased things wrong. Nor could it be that Larry D. Rosen, Ph. D. did not accurately represent all students when he took a poll of 2,000 upper-middle class white Californian families. Never. ( )
4 vote norabelle414 | May 1, 2013 |
I'm a newly-graduated teacher, so I spend a fair amount of time trying to get a handle on the possibilities of new technologies and how they can improve my teaching style. This book (an Early Reviewers selection) got a rave from some LTers who suggested that every teacher should read it; well, here it is.

{I should add that, in proper iGeneration style, I skimmed his book while playing Flash games online, one ear open to my husband's Bones DVD, and while wishing I was doing something else}.

-I agree with his basic premise, which is that younger people have a different way of relating to information, and that educators should work with that instead of against it.

-he mentions some resources which I mean to look up.

-he makes some concrete suggestions on how to integrate his findings into the classroom, which I always appreciate - there's nothing worse than 276 pages of "teh teacherz are dooing it all roooooong!" without any suggestions on how to do it right.

-access to computers, projectors, etc. isn't as widespread in my school system as he assumes (and as I would like). At one school, we had no internet in our classroom, we shared one projector (that would let me run content off my netbook) among our entire dept., and the computer labs were not easy to book.

-also, depending on your community, you can't assume that every kid has unrestricted computer access and broadband at home; some families can't afford breakfast every day. Not much room for iPods and video cards in those budgets.

-all this amazing 3-D online content that is at the right age level, short on ads, directly related to my province's curriculum, and cool enough to hold teen interest isn't just leaping out at me. I've spent hours, hours, hours online trying to find youtube videos, games, images, webquests, sites, etc. etc. that will do the kinds of things he wants them to do, but they're rare. I don't mind working hard, but I have to eat and sleep like everyone else.

-I wonder if I would be able to keep, say, two or three courses up to date, given the rate at which the landscape is changing. Heck, this book was published in 2010, but its references are, in my experience, already out of date. Second Life is history. Who uses MySpace at my school? Do teenagers read blogs anymore, or is the communication mostly on Twitter and Fb? By the time I've revamped my entire "Intro to Anthro, Socio, and Psych" class to rely on Facebook and YouTube, will Twitter or the Next Big Thing have rendered me obsolete? That isn't to say I won't try to use this stuff, but it's something to keep in mind.

-if multitasking takes more time but keeps my students more engaged, how much time can I afford to give them in class? Often in a lesson, I want to expose them to some information or a skill, let them practice it, learn it, maybe teach it, then have them reflect on it in some way. There are stages, and it's hard to fit those stages into a 75-min lesson if they're spending 30% of their time on Facebook or texting their friends. Longer school hours? More homework for already stressed & overprogrammed kids? I dunno.

-His position is stated at some length, and with more flourish than I trust. He also seriously overgeneralises; yes, I'm sure many kids in this cohort learn and act this way, but one size never fits all. You want the students to figure out how they learn best, then teach in a way that is varied and adaptable.

This book is somewhat interesting and moderately useful, but he talks as if teachers just need to wave their wands and do some Google searches and all our problems will be over. ( )
3 vote Cynara | Jun 14, 2011 |
Skimmed through.
  libq | Dec 14, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I hate to write a review without finishing the book, but I set this one down two months ago and still have no desire to pick it up again. Since I received it from Early Reviewers in exchange for a review, I feel obligated to write something now. If I do eventually finish the book, I'll come back and make revisions.

Rewired deals with an interesting and important topic, the role of technology in education. The premise is that members of the "iGeneration", who grew up connected to all sorts of technology, have different learning needs from previous generations and that the educational system needs to make changes to accommodate these needs.

Unfortunately, the book itself is boring and unpersuasive. I think it would have been better as a magazine article, because there's just not enough content here to justify Rosen's claims. He can tell me a million times that the iGeneration uses lots of technology and needs technology in education too, but without any deeper reasoning, I'd really prefer to hear it just once.

One example of the lack of content: Rosen tells us on p. 36 (in the second chapter) that "two-thirds of teens say their cell phone is their most essential technology and half view it as 'key to their social life.' In fact, they place their cell phone as second only to their clothing in representing their social status." All well and good, though I'd prefer to see educational policy developed on the basis of trials and experimental studies rather than opinion polls. The real problem, though, is that Rosen repeats this same statistic less than 20 pages later, with no further analysis to justify revisiting the same old data: "According to a 2008 Harris Interactive national study of more than two thousand teens, 57 percent reported that their cell phone is the key to their social life and nearly half admitted that their social life would end or be much worse without their phone. Strikingly, the survey showed that to teenagers, their cell phone portrays much more about their popularity than jewelery, watches, and shoes." (p.52)

If you don't have enough data to fill out a 226-page book, maybe that book just doesn't need to be written right now. I had a similar problem with Rosen's description of an exercise that he carries out with groups of educators and parents. The exercise consists of a "blank chart with generational values and preferences listed on the left side and the four generations--Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, Net-Geners, and iGeners--listed at the top". The challenge is to match given preferences with the right generation; he gives an example about communication style: "(1) Face-to-face or telephone; (2) email or cell phone (3) text message, IM, Facebook; or (4) text message, Twitter, Skype, Myspace, Facebook, iPhone." He goes on to say that he has never had a group get more than half of it right, which came as a bit of a surprise to me. The problem, though, is that he doesn't provide an appendix with the complete exercise, so we just have to take his word that the questions were meaningful. When I asked him about this in an author chat, he responded that it was in his previous book and the publishers wouldn't let him distribute it separately. Again, it seems that he just doesn't have enough data to justify the existence of this new book.

Despite the lack of data, Rosen could still have done well by proposing interesting new ideas about how to integrate technology into the classroom. Unfortunately, he's big on generalities and doesn't have much in the way of concrete ideas. This is presented as a virtue: "It is important to note that I am not going to tell teachers how they must teach and which lessons to use in the classroom.... I will, however, highlight educational approaches that tap into this younger generation's remarkable technological strengths and passions so that no matter what technology children adopt, educators and parents will be able to use approaches to learning that make use of those technologies and help children shed their aversion to learning." (p. 17) In practice, this means that he's just telling us repeatedly that we should use technology in education, which isn't much help when it actually comes to designing a curriculum. He even points out that some past attempts to integrate Power Point into the classroom failed because the technology was already stale by the time educators tried to bring it in, emphasizing that we have to stick with what's new and edgy, but it's not clear how exactly to go about doing this. Telling us in general to integrate technology into the classroom, but to make sure to do it well and in a way that students will find interesting, just doesn't seem worth the paper. If there's limited data to back up the general claims and limited concrete suggestions about what to do, I just don't see the point of this book.

When Rosen does try to address practical points, his arguments come off as extremely simplistic. He defends the use of wireless mobile devices in the classroom by saying that they're not too small to use, based on the claim of one high school student who watches videos on his iTouch all the time. Fine. But this supposed "problem" and feeble "solution" merit as much time as the much thornier issue of the socio-economic divide and whether students from lower-income families will be put at an even greater disadvantage than they are now by focusing education around the trendiest new gadgets. We're assured blithely that wireless access will soon be free or cheap everywhere, and left to go on our merry way. I remain unconvinced.

In brief, I remain unconvinced about this whole book. There's not much data, there's not much analysis, and there aren't many new ideas about what we should actually do. I struggled through the first 90 pages, but it really doesn't seem worth my time to read on.

As a final note, Rosen also said in the aforementioned author interview that he doesn't like reading reviews, because they're "either glowingly positive or point by point destructive". I guess this one falls in the latter category, but I still think there's something to be gained by listening to criticism rather than avoiding it. It's too bad that this review is doomed to fall on deaf ears. ( )
5 vote _Zoe_ | Oct 8, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The subject of this book...the way the texting generation is being failed by teachers, schools, and bureaucracies that don't know, don't want to know, and can't imagine how these youngsters *actually* absorb information...is one of un-overstatable importance.

You and I, fellow LTer, are not the ones who should be making the educational decisions of this generation. Why not? Because, on average, we're about as likely to say "g'wan, skip the textbooks, don't make 'em buy a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird, do it all on their iPhones!" as we are to suggest Fahrenheit 451 as a model for the future society we want to see.

But let's be realistic: Do we want books qua books to survive? If yes, we'd best make sure that there are people willing to read them. And that means getting the texters to read, probably via KindlNooReadPad. School has always been the biggest breeding ground for accidental readers, the ones whose families have no books, don't read, and don't care. This will still be true as the texting generation gets their American History textbook via KindlNooReadPad. Some few of them will get the idea: Reading gives me a better picture of my world! Maybe if I read other things....

Larry Rosen makes an excellent case for delivering the traditional educational topics in this new, potentially enhanced way. He takes on the issue of trustworthy content on the Net, and offers some ideas as to how to teach critical thinking about what's out there. (I know some adults who could use his training.)

Frankly, I hate the Brave New World. It's out of sync with the lifetime of conditioning that I've got, in some very uncomfortable ways. There were things about that world I absorbed that I think this Brave New World would do well to incorporate, but I am not kidding myself: They probably won't.

But it's here. And even *I* can see the bold Helvetica signs on the walls: Change or become more irrelevant. So I tweet, and I have a Facebook presence, and I'm on here (sort of like the Old World That Passeth on the Internet, this is), and I even have a cellphone with unlimited texting because that way I actually *hear* from my grandkids. Am I happy about it? Not specially. But here it is, and I for one am not willing to sink quietly into invisibility.

Now why in the holy hell can't the SCHOOL BOARD see this, and do even what little I've done to get with the program?!?! ( )
12 vote richardderus | Sep 2, 2010 |
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To Vicki, who always amazes me by how she truly encourages me to be me. I love our life together, including our NYT crosswords, zillions of movies, concerts, vacations, sunsets from bed, and our mutual love of anything that Jon, Stephen, and Rachel have to say.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0230614787, Paperback)

Look around at today’s youth and you can see how technology has changed their lives. They lie on their beds and study while listening to mp3 players, texting and chatting online with friends, and reading and posting Facebook messages. How does the new, charged-up, multitasking generation respond to traditional textbooks and lectures?  Are we effectively reaching today’s technologically advanced youth?  Rewired is the first book to help educators and parents teach to this new generation’s radically different learning styles and needs.  This book will also help parents learn what to expect from their “techie” children concerning school, homework, and even socialization. In short, it is a book that exposes the impact of generational differences on learning while providing strategies for engaging students at school and at home.
Check out Larry Rosen's website: http://www.Me-MySpace-and-I.com

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:19 -0400)

"How does the new, charged-up, multitasking generation respond to traditional textbooks and lectures? Are we effectively reaching today's technologically advanced youth? Rewired is the first book to help educators and parents teach to this new generation's radically different learning styles and needs. This book will also help parents learn what to expect from their "techie" children concerning school, homework, and even socialization. In short, it is a book that exposes the impact of generational differences on learning while providing strategies for engaging students at school and at home"--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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