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Remember the Internet Generation?

By - December 15, 2003

That’s what John Chambers of Cisco dubbed our nation’s youth back in the bubble era. Well, now that the internet is cool again, USA Today has come up with another moniker: The Google Generation. The author of this article, a child psychologist, makes a good point: “As members of the Google generation, today’s children have facts at their fingertips. They don’t need information fed through toys. They need to play and to become creative problem solvers.” I certainly agree with this. A quote used by the director of my kids’ school (originally from Socrates, I think) goes something like: “A child is a flame to be ignited, not a vessel to be filled.” She suggests holiday toys that do not entertain, but rather that provoke creative play. Her top ten: Play-Doh, building blocks, costume drawers, puppets, red rubber balls, books, crayons, paints, rhythm instruments and dolls.

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  • http://joechip.net/brian/ Brian

    Yep, that was Socrates, often alternately quoted as “ignite the flame, don’t fill the vessel.” But the context and the meaning are just about dead-on.

  • http://www.jimdabell.com/ Jim

    > “As members of the Google generation, today’s children have facts at their fingertips. They don’t need information fed through toys. They need to play and to become creative problem solvers.”

    If they have so much information at their fingertips, then I’d say one of the crucial skills they need to learn is how to evaluate that information for credibility. Any fool can put up a website claiming that lizard people are secretly running the world. Okay, so that one is easy to spot, but there are plenty of borderline cases where some website is taken as gospel when it shouldn’t be.

  • http://www.schafer.com/ Ken Schafer

    Google says…

    “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.” – Plutarch

    FYI, in doing the search I came across something new on Google (at least new to me) – a limit on the length of the string you can search on:

    “”a” (and any subsequent words) was ignored because we limit queries to 10 words.”

  • http://battellemedia.com John Battelle

    Ah see, how you do the Google search informs what answer you get. I think you are right, it was Plutarch, and the 10 word limit is not new…as far as I know. I recall reading about it in Google Hacks.

  • Duchess

    oh jb. of course its the google generation. to lazy to do ANY work on our own, we are all reduced to looking things up. just like our high school dewey decimal projects.
    and get over it.