PBS Frontline’s digital_nation: life on the virtual frontier is a fantastic program as well as media-rich website filled with videos, articles, and information about our digital youth culture. The documentary premieres this week on February 2nd, but the website is already filled with outstanding resources. One of my favorites is project’s Digital Native Map, an interactive site with a wealth of updated stats relating to youth and their digital lifestyles.

Digital Native Map from digital_nation: life on the virtual frontier (PBS)

Clicking on a different part of the interactive body map displays related statistics, like these about the brain:

Searching online activates more brain regions than reading printed words.
On average, multitaskers spend 11 minutes on a project before switching to another, typically changing tasks within a project every three minutes.
It takes about 15 minutes to return with full attention to a serious mental task after you responded to an e-mail or instant message.
Video gaming in moderation can help develop improved pattern recognition, more systematic thinking and better executive skills.

Website articles are filled with links to references and additional materials. Browsing through the available videos, I found the following two particularly compelling.

Todd Oppenheimer, author of “The Flickering Mind,” argues that computer classes should be treated like “shop class” in our schools. Work habits are KEY, and schools MUST help students acquire these skills. (1:06)

In Marc Prensky’s interview montage titled “Education 2.0” by the digital_nation producers, he asserts students want to engage in interactive, hands-on collaborative projects which have a focus on changing their communities and changing our world. While I’m not a big fan of Prensky’s digital native / immigrant dichotomy I do agree with his endorsement of project-based, engaged learning in this video. (4:31)

Thanks to a Facebook post this weekend by Marco Torres, I learned about “What’s Your Issue:”

A Global Initiative and Competition for the next generation of leaders and social entrepreneurs – Seeking global thinkers 14 to 24… For 2010, we are looking for 3-minute videos with Issue & Solution format. Express your issue and propose an innovative solution-project. Winners presented to Obama administration, on Best Buy screens across the planet, and at VIP reception and Awards Ceremony hosted by Sony Pictures in Los Angeles

This sixty second YouTube spot summarizes the project and contest. If you have any of the “digital natives” Prensky is talking about in the previous video clip in your classroom or household, you might give them a heads-up on this contest. ๐Ÿ™‚

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3 Responses to Interactive Digital Native Map and the What’s Your Issue Videography contest

  1. Dave Winter says:

    I had just this evening bookmarked a on delicious http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teenbrain/ as my teenage son and daughter sleep in I can now encourage their slumber ;-). As for a flickering mind and the connected and massively multimedia exposed children and adolescents of our society we need to aspire to them being more able and more humane(?) than we are. PBS and other programmes offer us a chance do go one better than second guessing what learning for a preferred future might look like. We are missing you over here in nz Westley come on back.

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    Dave: I would LOVE an opportunity to come back to NZ, and I don’t think I’d be able to make the trip without at least a few (or maybe all) of my family this time! ๐Ÿ™‚ Does CORE have a end of 2010 conference? Please put in a good word for me! If all goes well I’ll have my first book done and published by then! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m looking forward to watching this series as well. I think it’s going to explore lots of different areas and move well beyond the “fear factor” message we hear so often with technology and social media.

  3. […] a while. One piece of that content, the Digital Native Map, was highlighted earlier this week by Wesley Fryer. The Digital Native Map features a 24 year old named “Wen-Jay.” Click on a part of Wen-Jay to learn […]

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