Two sources on How Students Are Succeeding with Challenges of New Media

§       Frontline

§       “Technology breeds self-absorbed kids” – an editorial

New media with new challenges to learning—“they cannot handle the deep, probing, complex thinking that is the key to true mastery.”


I was often amazed when reporting this story at the opportunities that technology affords kids when it comes to learning and education. Classes that once were taught by a teacher standing in front of a blackboard are now multimedia experiences, complete with music and video. Kids can pursue their interests and curiosities so much more easily on the Internet; kids who learn better with visual cues can do so now; information is so much more accessible. By and large, that is a really positive thing.


However, there are things to be concerned about. One of the teachers we interviewed described it this way: Kids' knowledge is broader but also much shallower than it used to be. Kids seem to know a little bit about a lot, but they're so impatient, so used to moving quickly, that they cannot handle the deep, probing, complex thinking that is the key to true mastery. That's troubling.


If you listen to the Department of Education, they'll say that seven of the top 10 jobs in the year 2010 didn't exist in 2004. So we're preparing our kids for industries that don't exist yet, and we're preparing for kids to use technologies that haven't been invented yet. That's one of the reasons I talk about the difference between learning content and learning skills, and why there is much more of a need to teach skills, because if we can teach a student how to learn, then they can adapt to these things as they're changing. If we're going to teach them just content that is static, they're not going to have the flexibility that we're going to need. And if you talk about the global marketplace, we're in deep trouble if we don't know how to do that.

Frontline – Growing Up Online


“Technology breeds self-absorbed kids” – an editorial

There's a fine line between pride and narcissism, and American children are crossing it.


In our time, indulgent parents of the last two generations seem increasingly to spoil their children. My visits with professors all around the country have revealed that many of them saw increased laziness among college students beginning about a decade ago, and the problem seems to be getting worse. More and more of them were mentally lazy and had unwarranted estimations of their academic prowess. “How can you not give me an A?” was a familiar rant, ending typically in statements such as “I was an A student in high school.”


Well, grade inflation has been rampant in many secondary schools for at least two decades and has now spread into college, primarily in response to student demands. This problem is not going away and I predict it will get worse.


Now to exacerbate the problem comes along digital technologies that I call self-absorption technologies because they seduce young people to dwell on themselves. Such technologies include cell phones and instant messaging and Web-based social media such as My-Space, Facebook and Twitter. These technologies encourage kids to indulge all their trivial thoughts and feelings. Kids can easily come to think that the whole world needs to notice them and have access to them on a 24/7 basis.

“Technology breeds self-absorbed kids” – Editorial – Houston Chronicle - Nov. 21, 2009 - William Klemm, “professor of neuroscience at Texas A&M University and currently active with middle schools and science curricula.”




For information or problems with this link, please email using the email address below.

WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or

Last Updated:


WCJC Home: