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“The Dumbest Generation” Synthesis Analysis

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Mark Baurelein, best-selling author of The Dumbest Generation, argues in his novel that America’s contemporary youthful aptitude has degenerated due to today’s developing technology. Simply put, he claims, “You guys don’t know anything.” However, what’s to say that people before thirty today aren’t just adapting their learning abilities to the environment in which they are educated, particularly to the current media-focused one we are living in now. What’s to say in Baurelein’s severe perception of today’s societal jejunity, that he hadn’t yet acknowledged the positive effects of digital media and the fluctuating learning culture of our new world.

While it is true that the Information Age today constantly influences students, this does not denote that everything about these digital authorities is deleterious and self-destructive. Actually, as mentioned by Document One: “Living and Learning with New Media,” “geeking out” may not be as dangerous as it seems. Virtual activity may allow some students to hone technological skills and other specialized skills in a entertaining environment among other like-minded peers. Ancillary motivation may be subtle, but does have the ability to induce healthy mobility and competition. Also, unlike regular classrooms, in these media rooms regular teenagers do not have to be foisted by stringent didactic imposed by their own teachers in school. Furthermore, the versatility of education can even be demonstrated in video games in Document Three: Johnson’s article, “Your Mind on Video Games.” Despite hackneyed truisms of “improving hand-eye coordination and firing virtual weapons,” there are proven theories of players learning adaptability of quick-action situations, if virtual, while juggling multiple battle strategies. Some may say video games are the preferable contemporaneous version of war-like chess, if only in technology.

In addition, a supplementary factor not considered in Baurelein’s generative tirade is the inflexible stimulus that association and educational organization may have on today’s students.

Document Three: Begley, “The Dumbest Generation? Don’t Be Dumb,” acts as an external perception outside of Baurelein’s own evaluation, giving a new opinion to the debate. In her article, Begley asks a pivotal question concerning the average educational survey of America, as to what should be defined as “general knowledge.” Should idiosyncratic trivia facts be demarcated as the need-to-know standards on which adolescent “dumbness” is judged? Or, is it more effective and fair to determine this by measuring a student’s scholastic adaptability and “pure thinking capacity.” Furthermore, Begley’s line, “Alienation is not dumbness,” suggests a common social debility in which denizens indirectly mirror the type of society they are currently living in, in which some subjects may be focused on more than others. Furthermore, it is only comprehensible that certain handicaps and advantages vary from school to school, as some schools may halt educational grammar in elementary classes, and others taking geography only as side notes to history.

In whatever qualms Mark Baurelein has to say about the intelligence of today’s modern youth, it would be presumptuous for him to disregard the positive effects of technology on a naturally flexible community. As expounded in the previously mentioned documents, the trepidation in the speculation about America’s baneful preoccupation with technology may be somewhat eased, as students may learn in virtual classrooms, without the authorities syllabus and teacher. Moreover, critics of technology would become hypocritical is they would not acknowledge of presence of PowerPoint, Smart boards, or apple laptops that are disseminating throughout the urban school systems. Prejudice about the general IQ of puberty is impertinent toward the changing significance of what is deemed important in education and of the apprentices who are networking with new technologies and evolving communities.




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