978-0-07-134798-3 / 9780071347983

Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation





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About the book:

With the help of about 300 members of the Net Generation, or N-Gen, Don Tapscott explores what the Internet and other digital interactive technology is doing to and for our children. Despite fears that new technology is making kids more antisocial and less intellectual, Tapscott shows that kids are using it to play, build relationships and explore their world. And while the digital world has dangers, it also has greater opportunities.

Tapscott shows the role technology plays in how N-Genners learn, socialize among themselves, and interact with friends and family--often through insightful quotes from the kids themselves. Tapscott demonstrates how many clear truths, for instance that learning is social, have led to false conclusions, such as that computer use, being an individual activity, hampers social learning. And, with his N-Gen helpers, he puts the hype about Net porn in perspective. As one 15-year-old puts it, "I have never 'stumbled' into a site I didn't want to see. Not like on TV where I have occasionally flicked the channel only to 'stumble' into some gruesome murder scene." Yet the author also acknowledges that every new development has its problems and offers commonsense caution, quoting Alan Kay: "We don't have natural defenses against fat, sugar, salt, alcohol, alkaloids--or media. Television should be the last mass-communications medium to be naively designed and put into the world without a surgeon general's warning."

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