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Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn Paperback – March 30, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“This book offers insight and help to motivate and maximize learning for the Internet Generation. Rosen offers invaluable guidance, support, and ideas for parents and teachers.” ―Eric Milou, Professor of Mathematics, Rowan University

“Larry Rosen's pioneering work in this field has been well-recognized by his professional colleagues - those of us in the field who are seeking to help educators, policy-makers, and parents understand what is happening as our society and our youth embrace digital media technologies. Larry's research-based, positive, proactive messages are a welcome relief from the unsupported fear-based messages that are unfortunately also present. Rewired should be considered a ‘must-read' by all professionals who work with youth, especially those in leadership positions.” ―Nancy Willard Director of Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

“Great resource for parenting the Net Generation” ―Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine on Me, Myspace, and I

“A timely and comprehensive look at the virtual world. Provides concrete answers to parents' pressing questions about social networking and how children live online. Written by one of the top authorities on the impact of technology, Me, MySpace, and I is a must read for all parents.” ―Dr. Kimberly Young, author of Caught in the Net and Tangled in the Web, on Me, Myspace, and I

About the Author

Dr. Larry Rosen is a professor of Psychology and the author of Me, MySpace, and I: Parenting the Net Generation and TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @ Work @ Home @ Play. He has over 25 years of research experience on the impact of technology among children, adolescents, young adults, parents, school teachers, and business people in more than 30 countries. Dr. Rosen is often quoted in magazines and newspapers such as Newsweek, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune; regularly appears on television and radio; and gives keynote speeches around the world regarding the psychology of technology. He lives in Dominguez Hills, CA.


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Product Details

  • Series: Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the WayThey Learn
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230614787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230614789
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a Professor of Psychology and past department chair at California State University, Dominguez Hills since 1975. I am a research psychologist with specialties in generational differences, parenting, child and adolescent development, business psychology, and neuroscience and have been recognized as an international expert in the "Psychology of Technology." Over the past 25-plus years, my colleagues and I have examined reactions to technology among over 30,000 people in the United States and in 22 other countries. I have written five books including: iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession With Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Me, MySpace and I: Parenting the Net Generation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @Work @Home @Play (John Wiley & Sons, 1998), and The Mental Health Technology Bible (John Wiley & Sons, 1997), many articles for professional journals, a technology column for the newspaper The National Psychologist and am a featured blogger for Psychology Today.

Over the years I have been involved in a variety of consulting activities and have been able to lend my expertise by serving on (1) the national advisory board for Pearson Education (one of the largest developers of curriculum materials), (2) the Internet Safety Technical Task Force Research Advisory Board (for the Berkman Center at Harvard University), and (3) the National Effective Parenting Initiative Advisory Board. I provide workshops for educational institutions, corporations and parent groups on the impact of technology in the workplace, in our schools and in our home. I have given keynote speeches to Fortune 500 companies in the United States and to audiences in India, Italy, Germany, Spain, Hungary, and Slovakia among other countries. For my research, teaching and university service, I have been fortunate to have been honored twice as one of the Outstanding Professors in the California State University system.

I love being interviewed and have been fortunate to be featured extensively in television, print, and radio media and have been a commentator on Good Morning America, MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN. I have been quoted in hundreds of magazines and newspapers including USA Today, New York Times, Newsweek, Time, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times. I maintain an extremely active research program and his most recent investigations include: (1) generational differences in technology use and multitasking, (2) the effect of technological immersion on the feeling of presence, (3) integrating immersive technologies in education, (4) the impact of social networks on adolescents and parents, (5) the impact of the new communication styles on English literacy, (6) online dating, and (7) technology use in the business environment.

I received my B.A. in Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude) from UCLA where I was honored as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. I earned my Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California at San Diego and I now live in San Diego, California. I am a Baby Boomer and have raised four children, two Gen Xers and one Net Generation young adult, and one iGeneration teenager and have learned firsthand that the generations truly are different in their lifestyles, attitudes, and use of technology.

I am reachable at LROSEN@CSUDH.EDU, which I capitalize because the lowercase version looks too much like 1rosen. I am a geek and always answer my e-mail immediately (a Baby Boomer characteristic!). My website is

I have been interested in the impact of technology on people since technology entered our world in the form of large, hidden mainframe computers. My first research project in this area was 1985! Since then I have published dozens of research papers on a variety of topics including technology in the workplace, the coming impact of Y2K (yep, that long ago), video games, online dating, multitasking, MySpace, parenting, writing, and a bunch more topics. Currently, in the George Marsh Applied Cognition Laboratory at California State University, Dominguez Hills, we are running 14 research projects including:

* Generational characteristics, values and beliefs among and between Baby Boomers, Generation X, Net Generation, iGeneration and Generation "C" recently named for children born in the new millennium.
* The impact of technology across generations in the workplace.
* The impact and effective use of technology on creating and maintaining healthy family systems.
* A model of how technology impacts the brain and how to take advantage of this knowledge to periodically "reset" our brains to shut down our software and hardware and improve our "humanware."
* The impact of classroom interruptions by text message on comprehension.
* The prevalence of text messaging in real-world locations such as fast food restaurants and high school and college classrooms.
* Perceptions of the "Future of the Internet" in 2020 across generations of Americans (a comparison with an identical study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project with technology experts).
* The sense of "being there" in electronic communications.
* The impact of media usage on physical health across generations of Americans.
* An examination of the feelings of "presence" in 3D movies and their applicability to education.

We are continuing to examine the world of technology, which seemingly changes daily. With the rapid advances coming into and penetrating our society we investigate how they impact people. Stay tuned for more from my lab!


I live in Solana Beach, California and enjoy a whole lot of things outside of my work world. I have four children ranging from 21 to 36 and I have learned much of what I know about the impact of technology from watching them grow and develop and make use of technology and media in ways unique to their generation. Thank goodness none of them still live at home although they visit often and connect through a whole lot of different technologies. My family and I make an annual gingerbread house from scratch and if you hop on my website you can see photos. I dabble in art that involves canvases with old technology and old rock 'n roll music (link to pictures are also on my website). I love musicals of any kind. I love music of "nearly" any kind. I go to a zillion movies a year (well, maybe only about 60 or so) and particularly like indie films. Been to Sundance Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival many times and each year see 10-12 movies that are mostly independent and may never reach the big screen. I love to cook (and eat) although my son (who cooked for 90 people at my 60th birthday party) is a much better cook. I read voraciously, but only murder mysteries, international intrigue and science fiction. I watch little television outside of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, MSNBC (love Rachel), CNN, and Glee (my love of musicals). During the summer I body surf and there is no way I am ever going to get up on skis at the top of a hill. Cross-country skiing is ok but I am sure that I would break at least two bones on my first downhill attempt. I love to travel and get lots of opportunities giving talks all over the world. Have spoken all across the USA and in India and Spain recently and am already booked to speak in several other countries this coming year. All in all, I can't think of a better life!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Traci on October 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
I haven't written a book review on Amazon in over 8 years, but I am motivated to come out of retirement for this one. Please don't waste your time on this book. It does offer some good gems of info, such as the teacher who couldn't get his students to discuss a book in English class, so he created a Facebook group for the class, and asked them to post their thoughts on the book there. These useful anecdotes are unfortunately hidden in a wash of manure. The book is full of gross generalizations about today's youth and their media and technology habits. You've read these facts in a number of news publications, or you probably know enough from kids you spend time with. We get it. Kids use technology. So does everyone else. Kids use it more. Got it.

The author makes a federal case out of multi-tasking, as if no previous generation has had the TV on and been gabbing on the phone while doing their homework. He actually wastes paper defining what an avatar is, and describing how Wikipedia works. At one point he even states that youth "use all capital letters to denote strong emotions such as I AM ANGRY AT YOU." If you're really that clueless, maybe this is the book for you.

The book also discusses how much kids like shallow bursts of information, and states that "even Sesame Street now has more cuts than ever before." Problem is, the article he cites is from 1980. He doesn't disclose this, but I knew this example was outright false, so I took the time to find the referenced article on Google Scholar. The truth is, Sesame Street has been using longer segments, and making fewer cuts per hour episode since about 2003. In another chapter, he shows video and audio podcasts as examples of technology that are more immersive than books. Really?
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dunyazad VINE VOICE on October 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
I hate to write a review without finishing the book, but I set this one down two months ago and still have no desire to pick it up again. Since I received it for free in exchange for a review, I feel obligated to write something now. If I do eventually finish the book, I'll come back and make revisions.

Rewired deals with an interesting and important topic, the role of technology in education. The premise is that members of the "iGeneration", who grew up connected to all sorts of technology, have different learning needs from previous generations and that the educational system needs to make changes to accommodate these needs.

Unfortunately, the book itself is boring and unpersuasive. I think it would have been better as a magazine article, because there's just not enough content here to justify Rosen's claims. He can tell me a million times that the iGeneration uses lots of technology and needs technology in education too, but without any deeper reasoning, I'd really prefer to hear it just once.

One example of the lack of content: Rosen tells us on p. 36 (in the second chapter) that "two-thirds of teens say their cell phone is their most essential technology and half view it as 'key to their social life.' In fact, they place their cell phone as second only to their clothing in representing their social status." All well and good, though I'd prefer to see educational policy developed on the basis of trials and experimental studies rather than opinion polls.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Russ Mayes VINE VOICE on July 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
In Rewired, Larry Rosen argues that the students entering today are profoundly affected by the technology on which they have been raised. For example, Rosen argues that multi-tasking is something that these students have come to expect, and rather than encouraging them to focus on a task at hand, teachers should embrace their multi-tasking proclivities. He acknowledges, though, that there is a trade-off: students who multi-task complete work more slowly even though they seem to retain the same amount. There are numerous trade-offs in Rosen's view of education. He argues that teachers should embrace rich technological environments--like "Second Life"-- but schools tend to block such technology. The idea that schools should open up their networks to games, social networks, and other technologies is just one way in which Rosen seems to ignore the realities that many teachers face. He is similarly dismissive of concerns that some students may not have equal access to technology by relating an anecdote about a poor child who still managed to update a MySpace page. This book would have more real-world usefulness if it managed to recognize the difficulties and offer solutions that teachers can use to overcome them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CrimsonGirl VINE VOICE on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Rewired" is a quick, entertaining read that includes some very interesting ideas on how educators can incorporate 21st century technology into the classroom. Dr. Rosen clearly falls into the technological cheerleaders camp in the debate over the impact technology has had on young people (completely the opposite of someone like Mark Bauerlein, author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future(Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)). I've personally got mixed feelings about technology, which is probably why I keep reading books pro and con. I don't see it as either the silver bullet that will magically solve our country's educational woes (as Dr. Rosen does) nor the primary cause of those woes (as Dr. Bauerlein does). I believe that it has had both positive and negative effects. "Rewired" tends to trumpet the former while glossing over the latter.

A big drawback of the book is that the majority of the sources cited come either from Dr. Rosen's own research or from non-academic sources like US News & World Report, CBS Marketwatch, the Washington Post, etc. I would expect those kind of pop culture sources from a journalist but not someone who is a professor at a research university. It's particularly ironic given he devotes a whole section in his book to the topic of distinguishing between credible and non-credible sources. Obviously it's a case of "do as I say, not as I do".

The strongest part of "Rewired" is the discussion of the various ways technology can help educators improve their teaching and assignments.
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