Tuesday, April 6, 2010

PBS Frontline Digital_Nation, Rachel Dretzin, and Douglas Rushkoff Present: *Distracted by Everything*

Does the Internet promote freedom of expression and communication, making it a catalyst for democracy and activism? Is the net tilted towards Democracy and participatory society? Meanwhile, do services like Facebook and Twitter encourage virtual and superficial involvement over dedication to the kind of activism that makes a difference? Does it just take people off the streets, blogging safely in their homes where they no longer threaten repressive regimes?

Digital Nation – Life on the Virtual Frontier (2009 – 2010) is a documentary film by Rachel Dretzin and Douglas Rushkoff that thematizes the media issues in the context of our virtual lives, tech development, networking and multitasking.

Chapter 1: Distracted by everything. M.I.T. students are among the world’s smartest and most wired. They constantly multitask with their tech tools.

Chapter 2: What’s it doing to their brains. Tests given Stanford’s multitaskers yield troubling discoveries. Other research into Net use and the brain raises more questions.

Chapter 3: South Korea’s gaming craze. Some cautionary lessons from a country where Internet addiction has become a health crisis.

Chapter 4: Teaching with technology. Teachers are embracing digital media–’it keeps students engaged; new skills are needed for a new age.’ But is there a catch?

Chapter 5: The dumbest generation? The debate has just begun on whether we are losing as much as we’re gaining in 24/7 wired world.

Chapter 6: Relationships. Millions of people are inhabiting the Net as it were a real place, satisfying the urge to connect to others in online games, virtual worlds.

Chapter 7: Virtual worlds. Second life offers a totally new reality for humans, says it’s creator–and IBM has begun shifting it’s meetings into this virtual space.

Chapter 8: Can virtual experience change us? The U.S. military is using virtual spaces for PTSD therapy and for flying drones in Iraq while based in a room in Nevada.

Chapter 9: Where are we headed? A school is organized around learning through video games–may be it’s students are getting something we aren’t yet able to measure or recognize.

[Thanks Body Pixel]

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