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

3.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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: #642,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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