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Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part II:
Do They Really Think Differently?
1. These numbers are intended purely as "order of magnitude" approximations; they obviously vary widely for individuals. They were arrived at in the following ways ( Note: I am very interested in any additional data anyone has on this):
Videogames: Average play time: 1.5 hours/day (Source: "Interactive Videogames, Mediascope, June 1966.) It is likely to be higher five years later, so 1.8 x 365 x 15 years = 9,855 hours.
E-mails and Instant Messages: Average 40 per day x 365 x 15 years = 219, 000. This is not unrealistic even for pre-teens - in just one instant messaging connection there may be over 100 exchanges per day - and most people do multiple connections.
TV: "Television in the Home, 1998: Third Annual Survey of Parent and Children, Annenburg Policy Center, June 22, 1998, gives the number of TV hours watched per day as 2.55. M. Chen, in the Smart Parents Guide to Kid's TV, (1994) gives the number as 4 hours/day. Taking the average, 3.3 hrs/day x 365 days x 18 years = 21,681.
Commercials: There are roughly 18 30-second commercials during a TV hour. 18 commercials/hour x 3.3 hours/day x 365 days x 20 years (infants love commercials) = 433,620.
Reading: Eric Leuliette, a voracious (and meticulous) reader who has listed online every book he has ever read (www.csr.utexas.edu/personal/leuliette/fw_table_home.html), read about 1300 books through college. If we take 1300 books x 200 pages per book x 400 words per page, we get 10,400,000,000 words. Read at 400 words/that gives 260,000 minutes, or 4,333 hours. This represents a little over 3 hours/book. Although others may read more slowly, most have read far fewer books than Leuliette.
2. Paul Perry in American Way, May 15, 2000.
3. Renate Numella Caine and Geoffrey Caine, Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain, Addison-Wesley, 1991, p.31.
4. Dr. Mriganka Sur, Nature, April 20, 2000.
5. Sandra Blakeslee, New York Times, April 24, 2000.
6. Leslie Ungerlieder, National Institutes of Health.
7. James McLelland, University of Pittsburgh.
8. Cited in Inferential Focus Briefing, September 30, 1997.
9. Virginia Berninger, University of Washington, American Journal of Neuroradiology, May 2000.
10. Dr. Mark Jude Tramano of Harvard. Reported in USA Today, December 10, 1998.
11. Newsweek, January 1, 2000.
12. They include Alexandr Romanovich Luria (1902-1977), Soviet pioneer in neuropsychology, author of The Human Brain and Psychological Processes (1963), and, more recently, Dr. Richard Nisbett of the University of Michigan.
13. Quoted in Erica Goode, "How Culture Molds Habits of Thought," New York Times, August 8, 2000.
14. John T. Bruer, The Myth of the First Three Years, The Free Press, 1999, p. 155.
15. G. Ried Lyon, a neuropsychologist who directs reading research funded by the National Institutes of Health, quoted in Frank D. Roylance "Intensive Teaching Changes Brain," SunSpot, Maryland's Online Community, May 27, 2000.
16. Alan T. Pope, research psychologist, Human Engineering Methods, NASA. Private communication.
17. Time, July 5, 1999.
18. The Economist, December 6, 1997.
19. Kathleen Baynes, neurology researcher, University of California - Davis, quoted in Robert Lee Hotz "In Art of Language, the Brain Matters " Los Angeles Times, October 18, 1998.
20. Dr. Michael S. Gazzaniga, neuroscientist at Dartmouth College quoted in Robert Lee Hotz "In Art of Language, the Brain Matters " Los Angeles Times, October 18, 1998.
21. William D. Winn, Director of the Learning Center, Human Interface Technology Laboratory, University of Washington, quoted in Moore, Inferential Focus Briefing (see 22).
22. Peter Moore, Inferential Focus Briefing, September 30, 1997.
24. Patricia Marks Greenfield, Mind and Media, The Effects of Television, Video Games and Computers, Harvard University Press, 1984.
25. Dr. Edward Westhead, professor of biochemistry (retired), University of Massachusetts.
26. Reported by Michael Parmentier, Director, Office of Readiness and Training, Department of Defense, The Pentagon, in a private briefing. ( The Readiness and Training Unit reports to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness).
27. Elizabeth Lorch, psychologist, Amherst College, quoted in Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Little Brown & Company, 2000, p. 101.
28. John Kernan, President, The Lightspan Partnership. Personal communication.
.29. "Evaluation of Lightspan. Research Results from 403 schools and over 14,580 students," February 2000, CD ROM.
30. Debra A. Lieberman, "Health Education Video Games for Children and Adolescents: Theory, Design and Research Findings," paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communications Association, Jerusalem, 1998.
31. Scientific Learning Corporation, National Field Trial Results (pamphlet.) See also Merzenich et al., "Temporal Processing Deficits of language-Learning Impaired Children Ameliorated by Training" and Tallal, et al., "Language Comprehension in Language Learning Impaired Children Improved with Acoustically Modified Speech," in Science, Vol. 271, January 5, 1996, pp 27-28 & 77-84.
32. Michael Parmentier, Director, Office of Readiness and Training, Department of Defense, The Pentagon. Private briefing.
33. Don Johnson, Office of Readiness and Training, Department of Defense, The Pentagon. Private briefing.