questionsare kids smarter now with all the different…

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I don't know if it's making them smarter but I certainly know it's making them lazier.

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i feel they live in such a different world than we grew up in, that it's hard to compare. they live in a world where if a stranger talks to them, they should be scared. we grew up knowing to answer when an adult asked a question. they are growing up where being able to talk to grandma across the country is normal, we grew up not knowing if grandma was still alive. they need to be able to search across sites to find info, if we didn't already know it we didn't have a good reason for needing it. they have no idea what a hand written thank you note is about, we know what a missing thank you note feels like (ow, my butt still hurts)

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Common sense has become less and less common these days.

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they know where to find answers that we had to memorize. They do more advanced math & science at a younger age, too. Well, the ones who's parents encourage education do, anyway.

When I was 15 I had no idea what "URL" "HTTP" "DDOS" "javascript" etc were, but many 10 yr olds can explain those to you today.

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@kamikazeken: true. they can explain those terms. but have no concept on the golden rule or that the world doesn't owe them anything.

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In my experience, the knowledge today's kids display has the depth and clarity of a mud puddle.

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@moosezilla: that's not their fault, that's the parents' fault.

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Still not sure...got another one?

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Attention span is a serious problem. This seems to be true to some extent for adults now as well, and as a disclaimer I'm drawing from a small sample size -- but I tutor my older cousins' teenage kids from time to time on subjects their parents aren't great at, and they have a very limited ability to focus on one thing for over 15 minutes without getting the antsy need to check for texts, Facebook, etc.

They're fairly bright students. And I have enough vivid memories of me and my friends in high school that I'm not exactly prone to overexaggerating my own mental powers at that age. But the weird twitchy jumpiness is a new thing to me, and as far as I can tell they do well in school despite it. Like functional alcoholics who still can get work done.

I would have killed for even Wikipedia and Google Maps when I was a teen. But I don't know what would have happened growing up with everything else that comes with them.

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"Things were so much better when I was young. Kids these days are lazy and disrespectful. Now get off my lawn!"
-Socrates

Twas ever thus. Nostalgia is BS.

We are children of the space age, not the information age.

Still, when I was in high school, I was learning things that only a handful of the greatest minds in the world could comprehend only a hundred years ago.

Yes, children are getting smarter because our species is learning more all the time.

That being said, I read something recently about how neural pathways are forming differently in kids who have hands-on experience with touch-devices. The upshot was that kids can more easily switch focus than us oldtimers, which we can interpret as short attention span. The guy argued that schools - Universities in particular - will have to change their teaching methods to work for these kids. I'll admit that's kind of freaky. But if they had active MRIs when Radio came out they may have seen something similar.

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I have found that while they have way more access to information, they have less idea how to apply this in any meaningful way. They go straight from knowing nothing, to knowing the middle parts, but not how that observation/theory/effect/etc... was established or began and why it even matters. It is kind of like reading the middle of a book without reading the beginning or end then writing a book report.

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I don't think they're either smarter or otherwise. I think the information people are learning just changes. How many of us would know how to fix a tenth of the machinery we actually use every day? How many of us would know how to sustain ourselves in the woods for more than a day? In a desert? Even on our own farm for a year? Sure, we have access to information in the blink of an eye, but the further we go with that, the less stuff we actually know how to DO without that access. I don't think this whole process changes from generation to generation, just the stuff one needs to know to thrive changes.

I do think it's a whole lot easier now, with the Internet, for kids to expand their horizons in a way past generations never could. Knowing what's out there to be interested in is the first step in learning if one has an interest in it, after all.

Still, my next-door neighbor's kid, despite having Internet access for most all his life, is still a high-school dropout.

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I would imagine every generation thinks the same about the next generation.

There are always going to be stupid people and smart people.

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yep...my 9 year old has a 132 IQ. When he was a baby, somewhere about at 9 months old we started him on a DVD series with words and shapes, 20 mins a day, we sat and watched these dvds with him, he had a larger vocabulary than other kids when his was 3 years old. He took kid computer classes at 4. He loves to read, loves learning about other thing by going on the internet and is in the gifted program at his school. He's not a nerd, but he can out smart most kids quicker than others. I see him being a Politician or Lawyer when he grows up, or maybe a gamer and never moving out of the house ....

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I certainly see that there is a loss of attention span. I am concerned that they will not have the ability, as they grow up, to spend enough time concentrated on a single task to get much done.

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@drunkcajun: Common Sense: So rare it's like a super power.

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As a mom with an almost 4 y.o. and two siblings age 14 and 16 living in the house, I agree attention spans are getting shorter. On the other hand, technology comes naturally for my son. Where I need to look up how to do something, he can get a touch screen tablet to do whatever he wants. It is just a new age. And yes, I force him to have screen-free time too.

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These overreactions are cute. Our children should be smarter than us, and most are. Touch-screen devices make our kids look like geniuses, but it's in part due to superior UI design.

My child can handle an iPhone like a pro, but you know what? The thing he wants to do most in the entire world is run around and play outside. We want things faster and more immediately nowadays, sure, but I think most of us will still love the simple joys of the natural world.

Especially as we fall asleep reading our Kindles on the deck.

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It may make them technologically smarter, but I definitely agree with the lazy comment. Even for me, I can find any answer in seconds on Wikipedia vs really needing to know it by memory. Sometimes I feel like I rely too much on finding answers online, but I'm really good at it!

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@drunkcajun: The only thing common about common sense now it that people have none. A friend of mine works with a young woman who says she's 'under the influence' when what she really means is 'she's under the impression.'

That's what this iphone and facebook world we live in has done.

Can you imagine if we were ever hit with an EMP? Many people, more the under 21 age group, would be unable to fend for themselves and live without their high tech devices that do the thinking for them.

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@mkentosh: And being a politician or lawyer is a good thing? Most politicians are or become criminals. And lawyers, well there are some very good ones, but the professions current purpose is to benefit from other peoples misfortune.

BTW, before DVDs and the internet children had the same opportunities, they were called books and libraries. They even learned how to walk out of the house, follow directions or a map, and make it to the library.

The library had these amazing things call encyclopedias (which btw had verified facts unlike Wikipedia where ANYONE can update ANY entry they want,) maps, books on every topic, news papers from all over the world and other humans, some even well versed on the plethora of options available to children like reading groups, etc where they had the opportunity to speak words instead of typing abbreviations.

This may be a new age, but that doesn't mean it's an improvement. Watch the movie Idiocracy. That's where we are headed.

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@mschauber: Yup. I chuckled and thunk all at the same time...No app needed.

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@drunkcajun: Only 5 years ago the idea that you could do those two things at the same time and on your own without an app would never have been in question because smartphones were for smart people who needed them for work, not for dumb people who can't do anything without one.