The Digital Generation


I have spent a little bit of time today surfing sites on creativity – just to keep up with what’s new on the Net. I came across this from hypography – a forum for science and technology: Will the Digital Age Destroy Creativity? Certainly provocative!

One thing about teaching at the high school level. I have become very aware of digital devices and teenagers. My students still can’t understand two things: why I always know when they are texting (head down, hands in lap, not listening), and why my phone doesn’t do anything more than make a call. I’ve been reading a lot about the changing technologies and their impact in the classrooms, and I am trying to understand and utilize more of what the kids know and can do with these new digital devices.

But I gotta tell ya – I truly believe there is more to life than always texting or having earphones stuck all the time. And loud? I tell the kids if I can hear their iPod it is definitely too loud! I wonder about hearing loss in the next decade. I wonder about the ability to read a book, rather than opt for music – not that I have anything against music. I’m enjoying all the portable availability of lots of tunes.

This takes us back to the initial question: is the digital age destroying creativity?

For me personally, an unqualified NO! My artwork is taking advantage of technological wonders – Photoshop, blogging, eBay, networking, and the like. But I still like my quiet time, and I still will always want to own books. However, I don’t always want to be “on call” with a phone/computer that never lets me rest. I just want to let hubby know if I am going to be late, or if the bus is delayed – those kinds of things.

Marc Prensky writes about what he calls “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.” I would definitely qualify as a digital immigrant – I’m new to all this. I’m adapting (all right, to a point), and I love what I can now do.

But – what about this current generation? They’re immediately on their cells or listening to music. Are they so plugged in that they will be content with texting and always listening to music? BUt am I so much of a dinosaur that what I think truly is valuable is outmoded and ancient?

What do you think? Is the digital age destroying creativity?

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