Of Digital Natives & God Particles – Note 1

This is a note 1 – from the post ‘Of Digital Natives and God Particles

(1)   To support his claim of brain transformation Prensky makes the following statement

“Our children today are being socialized in a way that is vastly different from their parents. The numbers are overwhelming: over 10,000 hours playing videogames, over 200,000 emails and instant messages sent and received; over 10,000 hours talking on digital cell phones; over 20,000 hours watching TV (a high percentage fast speed MTV), over 500,000 commercials seen—all before the kids leave college. And, maybe, at the very most, 5,000 hours of book reading. These are today’s ―Digital Native‖ students” (2001b)

In his footnotes he explains his calculation of these figures. They are based on a young (North American) person doing / being exposed to the activity every day for 15 years. Prensky’s article was published in October 2001. A 15 year old in 2001 would have been born in 1986 – how many of these technologies were available then – leaving aside their proficiency as newborn instant messagers! So he cannot be talking about school age youngsters in this scenario. I could go on to talk about the research he cites but the point is that this argument is pretty speculative.

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