Posted by: stephanieessin | December 5, 2014

Young and Old: Do kids learn better from a digital platform?

Lucila’s post about getting her daughter to do her reading lessons raised questions surrounding digital natives and whether they are more comfortable learning on the web than in front of a screen. According to our reading, the author was suspicious of those who see a contrast in generational ways we consume media–that is, the young “Internet natives” and the old “Internet immigrants” (227). The reasons behind the author’s suspicions of the contrast are as follows:

-Adults statistically use the Web more than children

-Adults are as infatuated with communication technologies as kids are (Xboxes vs. BlackBerrys)

-Adults and children have the same brain makeup and are affected in similar ways

The author cites a study that states multimedia technologies, like an eBook, will limit, not enhance, learning abilities. To answer Lucila’s question, “Will these studies have the same results when those born under the Web 2.0 become adults?”, the author would say yes. When her daughter grows up, her ability to learn from multimedia technologies will be no different than that of an adult now looking at a screen for the first time.

So what worked about the online reading lessons? Was it that they were more interactive? Or perhaps entertained her more with flashing lights and colors? I think kids are pretty simple people. Perhaps the stimulating sounds and little characters pronouncing the words for her made it more fun. We all like fun.


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