Nicholas Carr’s book, The Shallows is a necessary addition to our dialogue about technology’s role in education. Below is a highlighted excerpt where he admits struggling with the notion that our brains are being affected by the Internet.
Now I know most of the edtech crowd accepts this idea, but we seem to think we can’t do anything about it. We seem to say, “well, kids use the Internet now, so we have to cater to their rewired brains.” I disagree. I think this view is needed in some respects. Yet, we also need to ask, “what kinds of thinking do kids lose with so much Internet use? How can we help them regain the ability to think in the ways lost?” If we do not wrestle with these questions, we do not help our students expand their mental repertoire, we help them become more ingrained, more rigid, & less flexible in their thinking. As with all things, we need balance. What balance disruption has the Internet caused that you think needs to be restored?
Instead of taking Socrates’ stance against a new medium, let us follow Plato’s lead & acknowledge that the new & old ways of thinking have value & that we can explore the new while conserving the old.