Friday, May 13, 2005

Stimuli for Kids

Dr. C., a visitor and a blogger that was recently added to my tiny blogroll,
commented
here about the camping trip with my nephews and was interested in my observation of what constitutes stimuli to kids these days.

First off, I ask Dr. C. to provide some more info on the author and book the mentions in order to take a better look.

Secondly, if the author does indeed say that books are too “linear”, I have to disagree with that statement. Not sure what the author is reading, and how he comes to that conclusion, but I hardly think that you would want to deluge a child with multiple story lines and plots when the child is learning to read.

The idea that the average IQ has increased dramatically over the last 100 years is open to debate as well. I think that is relative at best.
For instance, could someone living now go back in time 100 years and survive in that setting? I know a lot of cell phone users that could not. This may be sexist, chauvinistic, non-pc, whatever, but the majority of young women on the campus where I attend college are complete and total slaves to their cell phones. Having a face to face conversation with someone that has a cell phone comes to an abrupt stop when the phone rings. I find this annoying and rude. Anyhow, when the cell phone rings, the world comes to a stop. I actually witnessed a young lady become red faced and anxious when she could locate her ringing cell phone somewhere in her purse. I was thinking that maybe they would leave a message, or the number would appear on the phone and she could call whoever that was back, but it did appear the end of the world was going to occur if she did not get to that phone.

But back to the IQ thing:
I don’t put much faith in IQ tests, and I cannot agree with the author’s comments as represented by Dr. C.

I can agree with the deluge of non-linear content on children can sharpen their thinking skills, but again I say it’s relative. Put a city boy in the country, or vice versa, and each one of them is going to have problems. My money is on the country boy in the city, as far as adapting and surviving and using their mind to do it.

The idea that video games are sharpening kids minds is subjective at best. When I watch my nephews play games, they react no different than I do when I play the same game. Once you have figured out the game, it becomes pretty linear.
Some video games have more than one ending depending on some of the choices made along the way, but in the end this can be easily manipulated as well.

The statement the author makes “if video games had been invented before books that we would have contempt for books” is probably true, however one of my nephews is a total book worm and loves video games as well. He becomes rather bored with the game once he has figured it out, yet he will revisit his biology book constantly. His biology book is a college level book, and he is 8 years old.

The techno age has definitely impacted our culture and world culture for that matter. There is instant news from around the world either on the tube or on the internets constantly. But, does that really make us smarter?

Modern conveniences make life easier for sure, but they also reduce the need for thinking. Example: the calculator. Simple math ain’t so simple when one has relied on the calculator for ease and quickness.

And ‘quick’ does not equal ‘smart’ in my book either.

Now that I’m finished pontificating, I will have to say I disagree with the author’s comments as represented by Dr. C., but at the same time I would like to see more of the authors’ book and comments.

Dr. C. also suggests he himself has very strong ideas about this and
The Pepper Farm
wants to hear what he has to say.

1 Opinions:

Blogger Dr. C speaks!

Getting blizted with patients today, but here is the New Yorker article, its actually on line:
http://www.newyorker.com/critics/books/articles/050516crbo_books
More later.

12:26 PM  

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