This video is perhaps the most powerful and effective demonstration of the technology and perspective gap between young and old yet produced. It's a must see for anyone involved in education, college applications or simply raising kids. Here's what Addled Rumninations has to say about it:
I was struck by the one piece where a girl says she'll read 8 books this year. EIGHT books in a year during college!?!?! Shouldn't that total be something like 8 books a week? They write how the coursework they're doing has no relevance to the real world or their job. How come no one wants to write the next great American novel? - Addled RuminationsI will offer my humble answers to these questions. First, the fact that they only read 8 books a year does not mean they're not literate or engaged in reading, it means that the media they're reading is different. I love a good book, I love curling up in bed with it and reading, but I have a good friend and colleague who takes his laptop to bed and scans Google Reader until he turns out the light, and that's functionally equivalent, perhaps even more valuable because chances are he's staying in touch with current events and trends, while my book is, by definition, old news by the time it's in my hands. The difference between him and me? I'm about five years older than he was. When I got to college, email was all the rage and Eudora had not yet been released. When I graduated, Netscape had just gone public. When he went to college, the web was already on its way towards 2.0. Five years is a generation in the technology gap.
Second, the "next great American novel" will not be a novel. There's a very good chance it's already written in proto-form in a series of chats and wall-to-wall posts on Facebook. (Never mind the fact that anyone who goes to school to write the next great novel isn't going to write the next great novel. That kind of ability is a git of god and experience, not school.) It will eventually be published in book form, but that's not how it will originate, and the students at colleges and universities know that.
Ultimately, the kids are alright, and the world they inhabit, while frightfully, relentlessly connected and demanding to many, is just "the world" to them. And that's a good thing.
So let's enjoy how well our kids multitask, let's help our kids find great ideas and literature in mediums and forms they relate to and can engage. On such things are pinned our hopes for the future. And the future looks bright.