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Dr. Dianna Lindsay's picture
After 43 years in my chosen profession, I remain excited, alive, and learning! From an active Twitter Account to blogging, from teaching Constitutional Law to Pre-AP English, from a national winner...
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Treasures: The App Generation by Gardner A Book Worth the Read

  • The App Generationby Howard Gardner and Katie Davis is a treasure of ideas woven in research~ application~ and recommended considerations for us as teachers and leaders. While the book is founded on generalizations about middle and upper middle class youth~ the ideas should not be tossed away as not applicable. I would argue~ these children may ultimately be responsible for many decisions impacting both their peers and those not in this study group. The book is also a trans-generationalcomparison broken into three main questions: how is identity formed by The App Generation different from other generations; how are intimate relationships described and defined by The App Generation different from prior groups; and~ how is imagination extended or limited by the App Generation and will this be unique to this generation?
  • The authors discuss technology from both historical and contemporary points-of-view and conclude that technology has always been with us and can either extend our knowledge or increase possibilities for solving greater questions~ or merely support the mundane chores of our economy/society. Apps can be designed or used for dependence on a task or independence from the tasks or initiative to expand thinking. The concept caused me to consider the differences embedded in the synthesis use as I select any classroom applications for any part of Blooms or Williams taxonomies. We as "mindful adults--whether new young parents or wise elderly trustees--must furnish the settings within which apps will be encountered and used. It's in our hands to provide nudges in the direction of flexible use of apps; to offer initial scaffolds in the form or use of apps but then to remove these as soon as feasible; and to sanction the implementation of spaces and of times in which one puts aside the devices and the apps and fends for oneself (p.185)." More than a didactic lecture~ the book is a super resource for a faculty ready to argue about the purchases an uses of digital devices. Exciting!
  • For me~ the book cobbles together my own philosophy about flipped classrooms and authentic problems. Start with a rich meaty idea~ find the human and technological resources to aid students~ then let them create answers using any media for their final projects. Solutions students fashion may result in creating new applications to the problems~ extending the problems further~ or designing further studies!
  • I am recommending this text with three questions:
  • 1. think about the students we are serving and the world in which they live; are we aware of the context of our decisions?
  • 2. think about the possibilities we must manage to ensure the full development of our children; are we certain we have made academic decisions for the richer experimental learner within each child?
  • 3. think about the capacity students must have in order to navigate their identity~ intimacy and imagination in a digital world; are we certain we have given enough professional development conversations to this topic?
  • I will be sharing this text with colleagues and asking them to read it over winter break. It is a provocative read!