PBS’s Frontline Airs Digital Nation Tonight
2.2.10 | Frontline explores “what it means to be human in a world immersed in technology” with its documentary “Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier.”
Watch it tonight at 9 pm eastern on PBS or you can watch the full documentary online here.
“I’m amazed at the things my kids are able to do online,” says “Digital Nation” producer Rachel Dretzin, “but I’m also a little bit panicked when I realize that no one seems to know where all this technology is taking us, or its long-term effects.”
The 90-minute documentary explores how technology is changing all aspects of modern life - from how we work, to how we learn, interact and form relationships, and even how we conduct war.
Producers visit a Stanford University research lab where new data shows that the multitasking and constant distraction that technology often demands of us may be “creating people who are unable to think well and clearly.”
But we also get to listen to staff from a public middle school in the South Bronx talk about how the use of laptops and Google applications is engaging previously distracted kids. We visit students at the new Quest to Learn school in New York City where the game-based learning model has them using games in every part of their curriculum from geography to physics. The examples are compelling.
“Games get us an incredibly engaging learning experience,” says Katie Salen, the school’s executive director of design. She continues:
“Often there’s a comparison made between a kind of old culture of kids reading books and the ability to sit down and get through a 400 page novel, and the fact that kids today are playing video games, which people think means they have attention deficit disorder and that they are not really doing things in a very deep way.
But, actually that isn’t the case. When kids are playing games they are engaged in a way that is incredibly similar to when they are engaged in reading a book. And that game world is equally rich, I would argue, to many novels.”
We’ve been following the growth of the Digital Nation website this year and it now includes online resources for parents and educators and tons of video worth watching including longer interviews with digital media experts such as Jim Gee, Henry Jenkins, Mark Bauerlein and Sherry Turkle.
You can also add your story about how digital technology is affecting your life by commenting, tweeting, or uploading audio/video to the site.
Here’s the preview:
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