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Brain Gain: Technology and the Quest for Digital Wisdom Hardcover – August 7, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An intriguing, astute counterbalance to the scaremongering that dominates many other books on digital life.” ―Kirkus Review

“A well-crafted antidote to the purveyors of doom and gloom regarding how the digital revolution affects our minds. Sure, there are many unanswered questions but the jury is in. Prensky shows beyond a reasonable doubt that technology is extending our brains beyond their conventional limitations. We're getting smarter not dumber, maybe even capable enough to survive and thrive in an ever more complex world. ” ―Don Tapscott, bestselling coauthor of 14 books, Most recently Macrowikinomics: New Solutions For a Connected Planet

“From flint axes to cloud computing, access to technology has constantly transformed how people think, feel, and behave. 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. 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. An essential read.” ―Sir Ken Robinson, author and educator

About the Author

Marc Prensky, the originator of the terms digital native and digital immigrant, is an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, and game designer focusing on education and learning. He gives over 50 talks per year around the world, has appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, and the BBC, and has been interviewed in numerous worldwide publications including The New York Times, Newsweek, The Economist, Le Monde, and El Pais. His previous books include Teaching Digital Natives, From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdome, Digital Game-Based Learning, and Don't Bother Me Mom, I'm Learning! Prensky is a prolific essayist and writes a regular column in Educational Technology magazine.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230338097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230338098
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,221,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rejecting the popular opinion that rapidly increasing reliance on technology makes us dumber and less human, Marc Prensky argues persuasively that we can--and do--use technology to make us wiser. While the human mind is unsurpassed in creativity, learning from experience, understanding context, appreciating humor, and telling stories our minds are limited in several ways, including capacity, objectivity, focus, and accuracy. The good news is that the strengths and weaknesses of the human mind are often complementary to the strengths and weaknesses of technologies.

After defining wisdom as: the ability to find practical, creative, contextually appropriate, and emotionally satisfying solutions to complicated human problems, he goes on to ask "Are we wiser if..." for each of 50 areas in which technology is used to supplement our thinking, now and in the near future. For each area he cites current examples and explores the questions: "Is this use of technology wise?" and "Are there wiser uses of this technology?" He then balances this optimistic outlook with a candid survey of less beneficial uses of technology--cataloging those that are merely clever, undoubtedly stupid, and even dangerous.

Just as fire is a technology that can be used to provide great benefit or do great harm, much of the value of digital technology depends on how we choose to use it. Chapter five gives helpful advice for using today's technology to cultivate brain gain and digital wisdom. Chapter six encourages us to teach our kids wise ways to employ technologies.
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Format: Hardcover
Marc is one of those distinct, recognizable silhouettes out over our digital horizon.
He is the most fluent digital immigrant I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
I am a member of the Army's Special Operations community and fully understand the challenges of training/sustaining expertise in Language and Culture while leveraging the latest in Digital Technology. Marc's books are definitive primers for Instructors, Trainers and Educators. This latest is incredibly timely. As with his other works (to include his keynote addresses and web page) Marc's latest has left me with another literary challenge that,once again, is only answerable with the digital-native password.
In a world of "More ,more, faster, faster" the cognitive push is undeniable and relentless. As this next rung of innocence disappears beneath us on the evolutionary ladder, Marc Prensky entreats the digital immigrants to evolve, move and communicate as fearless linguist in the digital human domain.
Not all will agree with this latest compelling argument delivered with humorous "Vulcan" logicality.
But,like gravity, rain or the wind, mental denial of existence doesn't remove its inevitable effects upon you.

I say May His Tribe Increase.
Well done sir!

Preston Short,
Supervisor, Virtual Mission Rehearsal (VMR)
Unconventional Warfare Center of Excellence
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
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Format: Hardcover
In Brain Gain, Marc Prensky argues that the explosion of digital technology can actually help our brains operate better. It's a fascinating analysis of the changes and growth the brain must go thru because of advances in this type of technology. It provides the reader a whole new way to look the digital revolution and its effect on our lives. Fascinating work.
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Format: Hardcover
As I watch (and worry) while my own children get caught up in the use of more and more technology -- both for entertainment and for education -- I find Marc Prensky's view of the digital/human interface fascinating, reassuring, and provocative. Whether you embrace technology or not, it is refreshing to read such a thoughtful and unconventional take on a subject that deeply affects us all.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Marc Prensky once again lends reasoned and comforting perspective on the ever-evolving digitization of learning, living, and relating. Rather than focusing on what is lost by change, he embraces change in a refreshing and optimistic way. Well worthing reading.
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