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August 19, 2008



There are a few things I'd like to point out.
-Yes, the internet is making many people lazy. Much lazier than they should be. But it's part of our lives now, and it is used for some good. Like you said - you IM'd your daughter every night she was away, and you blog.
-I am willing to bet that the ones caught "squarely in the middle" 20 years ago - your parents, were thinking a lot of the same things when you were into 80's metal or the Brat Pack. They probably often thought "How is this kid ever going to do anything but work at a fast food place? Who is going to do my surgery and teach my grandchildren?" But, they were wrong. Because in the end, you shaped up.
-We are learning practical things. We are learning more than most students in the 80s ever did. As one of my grade nine teachers put it: "The curriculum in most of your classes in grade nine is pretty much the same as what your parents learned in grade twelve." And some of us choose to learn about sound cards, while some of us still choose to learn to sew, or fix a car, or make smores over a bunsen burner. The basics are still being taught, its just that now there's so much more for us to learn about.
-Also, some of us CAN put together a full and complete sentence, with punctuation and everything.

So I agree with the author on only the 8th point - we're young. You weren't doctors or engineers at 16, either. Just give it time.



Well said oh wise middlechild.
I do think that many of your generation are taking the time to learn many different things, but too many are not. Too many are focused on the "techie" end of things, and at some point, something's gotta give. Yesterday Bug and I talked about the use of calculators. She was encouraged to use them..in FIRST GRADE. Shouldn't we be teaching the "real" way first, and then showing our children the electronic way after?
Each parental generation had something to "worry" about when it came to their kids....I just don't think that previous concerns were as scary as the ones we face today.

I long for the days that I could get lost in a good book. I see my children being able to do it, and i gaze longingly at that lost skill. Maybe it won't be too hard to get back. After all, we had to learn how to do it once..can't we teach ourselves again?

Linda Sherwood

I find Mark Bauerlin's observations offensive. I agree with Middle Child's take on them -- the 8th one is correct and normal. The other seven are aimed only at inciting a riot (or rather selling his book by burning down connections between generations rather than attempting to improve them).

I believe today's generation are on information overload. They are learning more at a younger age. Does Bug need a calculator in first grade? Yes because first grade now involves Algebra (finding x). The idea is to teach them a little bit of everything every year and to build a tiny bit on all of that knowledge each year.

As a K-12 student, I was "advanced" and took pre-algebra in 8th grade. My own children are struggling with these same concepts in elementary school right alongside learning multiplication and division.

A better companion piece to the Atlantic's article is this Slate.com article: http://www.slate.com/id/2193552/

By the way, I had already planned to use both the Atlantic and Slate articles in my college class this fall. I will have to debate whether I use the book you linked to. It would be a good example of logical fallacies at work....



Last semester, for my major paper, my prof made us have six sources for the paper - and only two could be internet. I delved into the stacks and searched microfiche until my eyes blurred.
I skim when I read. If it's longer than four paragraphs, I tend to just stop. Sometimes I'll read the first and the last, as that is where the summaries lie. I don't think we're learning more at a younger age. I think we're being babied. I had a math teacher in grade ten who would take all the calculators away until you had done it by hand - and then gave back the calculators - just to make sure we could do it without the aid of a computer. Sometimes I'd rather scratch it out on a post-it than punch buttons. I think like that though.
The statistics about children and teens being "lazy" or "dumb" is ridiculous. They're lazy and dumb because it's "too mean" to hold a child back. They won't skip kids a grade, and they won't fail them, unless requested by the parent - and what parent wants to admit their kid needs to be held back?
I can still get lost in a book. I can read and read and read. It may take me longer, plagued by the constant interruptions that go on around me, but I still get lost and bring images to mind based on the words I'm reading.
I agree with Kim. There are so many opportunities to learn and so many things to learn about, but parents and children alike jump at the new-age, the techie end of the spectrum.
If I was allowed to have a library card, I'd have one. If I have money and I'm at the mall, 90% of the time I'll come home with a book. But middle child (the one with the tan from her iTouch) and I, we're of a different cloth. We like to read, to learn, to immerse ourselves in information.
Take away the internet. I'll still get my news every day. But the paper online is free, and the one that comes to the door costs me money. Why pay when it's free?
I think Bauerlein is right. He's up front and callous and cynical. But he's right, to a sense. Atleast maybe the shock of what he's saying will force some parents to shut off the internet and shove a book in their kids' hands instead.


But, as I digressed there, my prof was smart. He forced me to look at other sources. Teachers and parents should do the same.


tap, tap, tap.
Hello, anyone home?
It has been almost a month....

Angelica Haggert



This is your Blog.
I am lonely when you don't come and visit.
Please visit.
Sooner than soon.

Jay Fraz

We can't change a tire? Hun, we will probably have 9-10 different careers and professions before we reach 40, hell, I'm in my late 20's and I'm already on serious profession number four thanks to all the offshoring.


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A lot of today's generation only learn what they learn in school, so they don't have life skills like doing laundry, changing a flat tire, etc. There really should be classes in school that teach life skills. There's only so much "real world experience" you can learn in a teaching setting. Also, I think the generations have just changed where we're a faster paced culture and enjoy skimming over reading.

air jordan 1

I can still get lost in a book. I can read and read and read. It may take me longer, plagued by the constant interruptions that go on around me, but I still get lost and bring images to mind based on the words I'm reading.
I agree with Kim. There are so many opportunities to learn and so many things to learn about, but parents and children alike jump at the new-age, the techie end of the spectrum.

Nataly Premium

Unfortunately, our generation is different from previous ... we are growing in technical terms, but lose the taste of life ...:-(


I fully agree with previous post


I do not know what to say ... on the one hand, it always seems that the generation that had been before, much smarter, and on the other, all the scientific developments, achievements and technical process of happening now in our time!


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