Being Human in a Digital World

Friday, July 03, 2009

Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences and the NSF Science of Learning Center at the University of Washington, John Palfrey, faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and video game designer Will Wright, creator of Spore and SimCity, discuss what it means to be human in a digital world.


Patricia Kuhl, John Palfrey and Will Wright

Comments [6]

ted nellen from hell's kitchen, nyc

"people need people to learn." good quote.

i find though that educators and researchers like patricia kuhl scary and limited. when i was a soldier in vietnam in the 60's i took correspondence courses that helped prepare me for a successful college experience. i was being taught by a person, who was in the states. it may not have been a f2f situation, but it was still a person teaching me.

later i became an online teacher and consider myself a person who was teaching other people. we never met f2f, but we did have a learning exchange.

we must think outside our boxes and learn to teach not necessarily as we were taught but in new ways.

not all learners can get to a classroom to learn in ms kuhl's perfect world. some of us can learn online, so let it happen because it is still "people teaching people."


Jul. 03 2009 11:06 AM
Seth from Upper West Side

How silly! There's no "new" literacy. There is literacy and illiteracy! This woman went to M.I.T.? God help us.

Jul. 03 2009 11:00 AM

I think Patricia Kuhl missed the most important component in her research with toddlers. She said that they absorbed nothing from TV or audio tape as compared with personal interaction. Interaction is the key word there--the 'technological' solutions were not interactive. I think she has an important result for parents using TV and audio tape, but I'm sure she would find very different results with interactive computer applications.

Jul. 03 2009 10:57 AM
ted nellen from hell's kitchen, nyc

take issue with patricia kuhl on the development of the brain. research has shown that the brain continues to grow and remold itself throughout our lives, not just in the first five years.

do a search on google "brain research in teenagers" and you will be amazed. i wrote about this last year on my blog:

consider the work of eric jensen and his many books on brain research.

we do not learn in the same way, that is key and the technology helps. we do know, we may not be able to recognize it. some see it, others don't. it is a form of color blindness, perhaps.

good stuff, brian, thanks.

Jul. 03 2009 10:50 AM
erik frampton from North Bergen NJ

Thanks to technology, this computer remembered my personal data for your comment page. I am distanced even from having to recite my own basic email.

Back in the days of AOL, in 1997/8 the chat function was just sweeping the nation. Through the immediacy of this format for communication that included linkability, photo sharing, gave me the distinct feeling that we had lept an evolutionary hurdle where inter-individual communication had finally eliminated the barriers of both distance and time on a world scale.

Thanks for the great topic,

Erik S Frampton

Jul. 03 2009 10:38 AM
ted nellen from hell's kitchen, nyc

i have been using computers in my public school classroom since 1983.

when i had my first networked classroom in the mid 80's, i could monitor my students from my console. instead of being a physical presence behind them, which inhibited them, i was observing them write from a distance. i realized i was like a "Brain Surgeon." I was watching them think, edit, and navigate. i could use the student screens to show the rest of the class a peer's work and then show another. the speed with which i could respond to my students' needs was astonishing.

soon in the late 80's and early 90's we started getting treatises from gardner and others about multiple intelligences and brain study. the key to technology was that we could actually provide these multiple intelligences in our classrooms. technology was the best delivery system.

now with the advent of the internet and the ability to access more information than students have ever had we are seeing a phenomenal advancement of learning by students. technology has had an incredible democratizing of education.

yes, technology has made us more human because we as a learner learn how we learn, can demonstrate this learning digitally,and have access to so many different forms of technology. we are better able to incorporate our multiple intelligences.

technology as we have seen in so many ways has taken humans to a new level of being human and so much more social then without the technology. social networks have done this contrary to criticism. consider how one must behave in a library, how many use a print media form to hide behind in public spaces like subways, buses, planes, home. the future is going to include technology, it does include technology, and we better get on board or we will be roadkill. i'm still distressed how far the educational industry is behind in the use of technology. a tragic irony.


Jul. 03 2009 09:59 AM

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