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Digital Nation

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Frequently Bought Together

Digital Nation + Frontline: Growing Up Online + FRONTLINE: Generation Like
Price for all three: $45.20

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rachel Dretzin, Douglas Rushkoff
  • Directors: Rachel Dretzin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: April 13, 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0032KC36E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,637 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Over a single generation, the Web and digital media have remade nearly every aspect of modern culture, transforming the way we work, learn, and connect in ways that we re only beginning to understand. FRONTLINE producer Rachel Dretzin (Growing up Online) teams up with one of the leading thinkers of the digital age, Douglas Rushkoff (The Persuaders, Merchants of Cool), to continue to explore life on the virtual frontier. The film is the product of a unique collaboration with visitors to the Digital Nation Web site, who for the past year have been able to react to the work in progress and post their own stories online. Dretzin and her team report from the front lines of digital culture from love affairs blossoming in virtual worlds, to the thoroughly wired classrooms of the future, to military bases where the Air Force is fighting a new form of digital warfare. Along the way, they begin to map the critical ways that technology is transforming us, and what we may be learning about ourselves in the process.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By HMU123 on February 3, 2010
This was one of the more sad and sobering documentaries I've watched in a long while. Much of it focuses on children and how steeped in technology their lives have become. In one extremely sad segment, young South Korean Internet addicts are filmed at a "detox" facility, trying to learn how to be kids again because Net gaming has taken over their lives. The director shows them learning how to jump rope and go outside to play in the 3-D landscape. Most look like they are being tortured by having to pry their fingers away from their keyboards.

Another segment examines the in-class behaviors of both grade school and college students. I had no idea that children are routinely allowed to bring both cell phones and laptops to school and use them while the teacher tries desperately to convey information. Rachel Dretzin interviews one vice-principal who seems to be spending his days monitoring students' Internet surfs during class. This clearly begs the question, is it really such a terrible idea to teach kids how to pay attention to one thing at once instead of 5?

One high-schooler from Chatham, NJ, proudly boasts that he can't remember the last time he's read a book. He's shown referring to an online version of Spark Notes for Romeo and Juliet, as he simply "doesn't have enough hours in the day to read the whole thing." He seems quite pleased with his "accomplishment" of having ingested the summary version in less than 5 minutes. No doubt the demands placed on him by Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and MySpace are so onerous that he has no time to consider the pedestrian words of one of history's greatest writers.

I'm about the same age as the filmmakers, and so can keenly grasp their ambivalence despite all the gilded promises of the Information Age.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Captain Faris on July 6, 2010
I rate this documentary with 5 stars NOT because I felt the producers answered all the questions or offered insightful commentary. But I felt that they DID "prime the pump" for the public to start to carry on informed discussions of the unintended consequences of our increasingly "connected" lifestyles.

I've been an Educational Technology consultant for 20 years--helping to install some of the infrastructure shown here as well as training teachers and students to be able to do things "intentionally" and not get sidetracked by every temptation. In the end, that is the real problem. How do we train children and employees to use self-control and to be deliberate in how they conduct themselves while wearing several hats and bearing multiple responsibilities?

Even with my background, this presentation provided a excellent quick review of the state-of-the-art in all aspects of the networked technologies we use to work, study, fight wars and goof around. Don't try to understand the strengths and merits of each gadget or system shown here; just try to become well-informated as to what each of them can do and how some people use them.

Two major "dangers" loomed to the foreground as I viewed it:

First, many students might not learn how to concentrate on and take thoughtful notes during "lectures" by teachers or professors. This was a problem 40 years ago without the Internet and it is still a problem. But students today can totally zone out during boring lectures. The solution (in my mind) is to make all lectures optional. Just let students walk out without penalty or stigma. At the same time, make as many lectures as possible so beneficial that those who attend will go away feeling privileged and special.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Darth Mortis VINE VOICE on May 14, 2010
This was definitely a very eye-opening and informative documentary (I love PBS). We live in a world that is immersed with technology and stimulation, more so than at any time in the world's history (that we know of anyway). This technology is developing extremely quickly and a lot of the far reaching affects are still unknown to us.

I'd like to start off by mentioning that the Digital Age has brought a significant amount of benefit. Advances in medicine have changed surgeries and treatments that were at one time extremely invasive into outpatient processes. Certain Military Personnel are now able to complete their jobs while being thousands of miles from combat, lowering human risk (as in the case of the Air Force Drone Pilots, a subject investigated in this video). Human connections which may have never had the opportunity to blossom in the past are now able to turn into incredible relationships (many people have met their spouses online as well as some other friends, I personally know several people who are in happy marriages and they met their partners online). As you will see in the documentary, some argue that immersing students in technology increases attendance and skills and also decreases violent incidents.

All of this being said, there is a flip side. There is research into decreased attention spans as a result of this over-stimulation. There is also research into multi-tasking and though it sounds great, it may not be all it's cracked up to be (this is covered in the video). There are uncountable numbers of online distractions and addictive MMRPGs (massively multiplayer Role Playing Games like World of Warcraft).
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