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Born Digital - Big, Important Book

adamkatz on August 28, 2008

Every kid on TotSpot shares something in common: They are “born digital.” These children will grow up in a world that has been radically transformed by the introduction and spread of new communication technologies - the Internet, cell phones, social media. Unlike us (I’m somewhere on the borderline), they cannot and will never remember a world before digital.

This has profound implications for their habits, natural inclinations, and mores.  Growing up with these technologies rather than adopting them later in life means that this generation will create and adopt new personal and social norms. In short - the way they will see and shape the world is inextricably linked to the world into which they enter and are raised.

The challenge is not simply to be aware that this new digital generation will be different than ours - that much is obvious - what is difficult is determining how and in what ways. I don’t have an answer but, fortunately,  Professors John Palfrey and Urs Gasser take up the challenge. They have written a book, Born Digital, that seeks to understand the way “digital natives” see the world and live in it. It’s not about us, it’s about them.

I am reading the book now and (full disclosure: Professor Palfrey is a friend) I think it’s an important work - for both parents and non-parents. For parents, its importance is obvious - without understanding the kids’ environment it will be challenging to understand them. For non-parents, the book is a preview of the world to come. At some point, sometime soon, this new generation will take the reigns (their influence is already felt) and their worldview will have a considerable impact on the way we all live.

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Totspot Blog » In the New York Times, DataPortability

[...] article also interviews, John Palfrey, about whose book, Born Digital, Adam wrote about a couple weeks ago. Professor Palfrey touched on an issue that’s very important for us at TotSpot: Mr. Palfrey [...]

Marilyn Stern

I am so disappointed that I have not been successful in accepting our daughter’s invitation to Totspot for our newest granddaughter. The space for login does not work : (

Marilyn Stern
Oriental NC
USA

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