Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ In which I foam at the mouth a bit

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
The author of the post cited here is foaming at the mouth over claims that students' being digital "changed the way their minds work". She writes, "We are all human beings. Our brains all work (more or less) in the same way. It's all neurons and neurotransmitters and fun things like that." Yes it is. But where the (putative) change occurs lies in how these neurons and such interact with each other. Neurons connect with each other to form a neural network, and this network adapts based on input and experience. This is well-documented, and is called 'plasticity'. But, it is worth asking, are neural networks plastic in the way Tapscott describes? Tapscott writes, "They're used to multi-tasking, and have learned to handle the information overload." This is probably a mis-description. It would be more accurate to say "they multi-task and they have adapted to information overload." This removes the success-verbs, and depicts change rather than accomplishment, which seems more reflective of the actual situation.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
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Last Updated: Jun 21, 2024 03:33 a.m.

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