Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Now, Google's Good for Granny

As I was surfing the web this a.m. I ran across a story about a recent study at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study set out to measure brain activity of older adults as they search the Web. The findings were interesting and operate as a nice antagonism to Nicholas Carr's "Is Google Making Us Stupid" published last summer in The Atlantic. The link to CNN's coverage of this study is here.

The study was paid for by the Parvin Foundation and was published by Gary Small and Susan Bookheimer, both UCLA professors, and Teena Moody, a senior research associate at UCLA's Semel Institute. The paper was published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

But I really was drawn to this piece, which I've only skimmed, because it seems to touch on how new practices of literacies do enable, sustain, and maybe even sharpen minds of all ages. Often the popular press argues for the legitimacy of digital natives' critical thinking skills that stem from gaming or the like, as well as how the same digital natives have their own (new) "texts" and attendant literacies. What I hope we'll start to see is that these are new times for everyone and not just young whipper-snappers.

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