Sure, there are many unanswered questions but the jury is in. With his characteristic rigor and verve, Prensky challenges cherished assumptions of what it is to be human and analyses the powerful roles of technology in shaping who we are and who we are becoming. Today it may be wiser to have your strongest ties be around the world. Using supercomputers whose time we can now purchase by the second , students can run experiments millions of times over the span of human history. We're getting smarter not dumber, maybe even capable enough to survive and thrive in an ever more complex world. Is it happening to everyone? If you are a person who welcomes all the changes I am talking about, and you find them amazing and thrilling, as I do, I hope you will read on as well.
In this controversial and well-argued treatise, Prensky offers the idea that rather than stunting the mind—that most essential aspect of an individual's intelligence and sense of self—smart technology and smart use of technology enhances our humanity in ways that the brain on its own never could. I believe this is both unfortunate and wrong. In Digital Brain Gain, tech and education expert Marc Prensky shows that both the human brain and technology have strengths - our own cognitive function for sense-making and complex reasoning; technology for the ability to store and process large amounts of data. Although the book didn't provide any earth-shattering insights, it did an excellent job bringing together current thinking in this area and providing lots of examples. In their view, technology is making us less able people, making our lives less human and less worthwhile. Marc Prensky wrote a seminal article on the key differences between those folks who learned the Internet and all its facets as adults Digital Immigrants and those who grew up immersed in it and.
If our minds are expanding so much, why does the world often seem so difficult to understand? With sophisticated but easy-to-access simulations of everything from driving cars to running meetings, students can get immediate feedback on the implications of whatever strategies or actions they propose. Prensky's call is for digital wisdom—a new interconnectedness between human and technology that is already enabling Homo Sapiens to begin the journey into the next stages of cognitive evolution. Imagine if we evaluated students—and one another—on the basis of how effective each of us was at thinking, acting, relating, and accomplishing! Reading a book is a great way to review assimilated and organised information, and that is what Brain Gain does well. In this provocative and insightful book, Marc Prensky argues that our interactions with technology have now brought us literally to a new phase of human evolution, and that the implications are immense for how we live, relate, and educate ourselves. Today the wisdom for many employers is to unleash capable employees to startups and even to competitors, and to hire new employees who are even more in tune with current technology.
Prensky's call is for digital wisdom—a new interconnectedness between human and technology that is already enabling Homo Sapiens to begin the journey into the next stages of cognitive evolution. In setting out to read this book I would have liked to think I learned nothing. Database Usage There are now millions of highly useful public databases, yet our students are rarely taught that they exist, much less how to find, combine, and use them. Instead of today's focus on pre-established subject matter, with thinking skills presented randomly, haphazardly, and inconsistently, the student and teacher focus would always be on thinking in its various forms and on being an effective thinker, using examples from math, science, social studies, and language arts. Those critics suggest that what technology has provided us is not brain gain but rather brain loss. I shall never forget his explanation of why. Often heard are the calls for less technology and more face-to-face interaction, for fear that the use of all this artificial intelligence is dampening our own ability to think.
Human teachers could offer, rather, what humans are best at: empathy, questioning, guidance, coaching, and encouragement. Some even fear that carbon-based life is on the way out, and that silicon-based life or something even stranger is on the way in. Because we do not know exactly how the brain works, or how it generates our expanding mind, ¹ brain gain, as I use it in this book, is something of a metaphor. Not that old wisdom never counts or applies—it often does. It includes whole villages in India that are learning to use and share a single smartphone. That seemed reasonable to most. Anyone who maintains that we should continue to teach and use both the old ways and the new is suggesting that we maintain an expensive horse in the barn in case our car breaks down.
Instead of being occasional side projects in subject-oriented classes, learning how to do these types of projects—and actually doing them—would be the main focus of this portion of students' work. That was until he unleashed a slew of examples and questions in chapter 3 that changed my opinion completely. There are now more ways to use technology to extend human capabilities to achieve wiser solutions and make better judgments than ever before. In this controversial and well-argued treatise, Prensky offers the idea that rather than stunting the mindthat most essential aspect of an individual's intelligence and sense of selfsmart technology and smart useof technology enhances our humanity in ways that the brain on its own never could. Often heard are the calls for less technology and more face-to-face interaction, for fear that the use of all this artificial intelligence is dampening our own ability to think. That is, in fact, the most trivial use of technology.
We are now, as a result, far better humans than ever before. Thinking, acting, relating, and accomplishing—in the technological and fast-changing context of the future—are where we should focus our students' attention. And we need to use it wisely. It used to be wise to get as much work experience as possible before starting a business. Are all humans going through this new evolution? And of course we never know. This is happening in a great many areas and far more quickly than most people realize. We see school dropouts and kids straight out of college, such as Bill Gates of Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, becoming some of the richest people in the world.
In this provocative and insightful book, Marc Prensky argues that our interactions with technology have now brought us literally to a new phase of human evolution, and that the implications are immense for how we live, relate, and educate ourselves. Prensky is a strong advocate for listening more carefully to what students say about their own education. Referencing theories from science fiction writers and futurists including Ray Kurzweil , this ending seems an odd, speculative conclusion in an otherwise reasonable, practical book. How should we best combine the strengths of mind and machine for maximum benefit? It's not about different ways to do what we do now. It used to be wise to postpone rewards. Because they realize this, many kids have already started to do this on their own, making playlists; filtering their messages; creating complex websites; doing sophisticated tasks on Facebook; modding that is, modifying games; and even teaching humanoid robots how to dance.
Through scores of fascinating examples, Prensky shows that the symbiotic combination of the human brain and technologyfrom marrying the brain's strengths such as sense-making and complex reasoning abilities with technology's strengths like storing and processing large amounts of datahas great benefits for our own cognitive functioning. . Today, our young people—and many older folks as well—see that much of our received wisdom no longer applies in life. Siri, in turn, uses the free online program Wolfram Alpha, one of the most powerful data analysis tools in the world. In a world where you can point a scanner at any text and hear it read to you at any speed in any language, in an age when more and more ideas are distributed only on screens, do we still need to teach reading the way we do now? Our students have to learn differently, and develop their knowledge differently. Everyone now lives in a very special age for humankind: an age when human capabilities are expanding explosively.