OVERRIDE

Brain Gain

Technology and the Quest for Digital Wisdom

Marc Prensky

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

"In an age where the answer to every question is at your fingertips, where does the human brain fit in?”

In one hand-held object, we are able to manage all of our calendars, documents, and interpersonal relationships with such ease that many people are lost when forced to do perform these tasks without the aid of electronics. Often heard are the calls for less technology and more face-to-face interaction,  for fear that the use of all this artificial intelligence is dampening our own ability to think.

Author Marc Prensky has a different idea. In this controversial and well-argued treatise, Prensky offers the idea that rather than stunting the mind—that most essential aspect of an individual’s intelligence and sense of self—smart technology (and smart use of technology) enhances our humanity in ways that the brain on its own never could. Through scores of fascinating examples, Prensky shows that the symbiotic combination of the human brain and technology—from marrying the brain’s strengths such as sense-making and complex reasoning abilities with technology’s strengths like storing and processing large amounts of data—has great benefits for our own cognitive functioning. How should we best combine the strengths of mind and machine for maximum benefit? Prensky’s call is for digital wisdom—a new interconnectedness between human and technology that is already enabling Homo Sapiens to begin the journey into the next stages of cognitive evolution.

"In an age where the answer to every question is at your fingertips, where does the human brain fit in?”

In one hand-held object, we are able to manage all of our calendars, documents, and interpersonal relationships with such ease that many people are lost when forced to do perform these tasks without the aid of electronics. Often heard are the calls for less technology and more face-to-face interaction,  for fear that the use of all this artificial intelligence is dampening our own ability to think.

Author Marc Prensky has a different idea. In this controversial and well-argued treatise, Prensky offers the idea that rather than stunting the mind—that most essential aspect of an individual’s intelligence and sense of self—smart technology (and smart use of technology) enhances our humanity in ways that the brain on its own never could. Through scores of fascinating examples, Prensky shows that the symbiotic combination of the human brain and technology—from marrying the brain’s strengths such as sense-making and complex reasoning abilities with technology’s strengths like storing and processing large amounts of data—has great benefits for our own cognitive functioning. How should we best combine the strengths of mind and machine for maximum benefit? Prensky’s call is for digital wisdom—a new interconnectedness between human and technology that is already enabling Homo Sapiens to begin the journey into the next stages of cognitive evolution.

REVIEWS

Praise for Brain Gain

“An intriguing, astute counterbalance to the scaremongering that dominates many other books on digital life.” 

Kirkus Review

“A well-crafted antidote to the purveyors of doom and gloom regarding how the digital revolution affects our minds. Sure, there are many unanswered questions but the jury is in. Prensky shows beyond a reasonable doubt that technology is extending our brains beyond their conventional limitations.  We're getting smarter not dumber, maybe even capable enough to survive and thrive in an ever more complex world. “

--Don Tapscott, bestselling coauthor of 14 books, Most recently Macrowikinomics: New Solutions For a Connected Planet.

"From flint axes to cloud computing, access to technology has constantly transformed how people think, feel, and behave. In this provocative and insightful book, Marc Prensky argues that our interactions with technology have now brought us literally to a new phase of human evolution, and that the implications are immense for how we live, relate, and educate ourselves. With his characteristic rigor and verve, Prensky challenges cherished assumptions of what it is to be human and analyses the powerful roles of technology in shaping who we are and who we are becoming. An essential read.”

--Sir Ken Robinson, author and educator.

“An intriguing, astute counterbalance to the scaremongering that dominates many other books on digital life.” 

Kirkus Review

“A well-crafted antidote to the purveyors of doom and gloom regarding how the digital revolution affects our minds. Sure, there are many unanswered questions but the jury is in. Prensky shows beyond a reasonable doubt that technology is extending our brains beyond their conventional limitations.  We're getting smarter not dumber, maybe even capable enough to survive and thrive in an ever more complex world. “

--Don Tapscott, bestselling coauthor of 14 books, Most recently Macrowikinomics: New Solutions For a Connected Planet.

"From flint axes to cloud computing, access to technology has constantly transformed how people think, feel, and behave. In this provocative and insightful book, Marc Prensky argues that our interactions with technology have now brought us literally to a new phase of human evolution, and that the implications are immense for how we live, relate, and educate ourselves. With his characteristic rigor and verve, Prensky challenges cherished assumptions of what it is to be human and analyses the powerful roles of technology in shaping who we are and who we are becoming. An essential read.”

--Sir Ken Robinson, author and educator.

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Marc Prensky

  • Marc Prensky, the originator of the terms digital native  and digital immigrant, is an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, and game designer focusing on education and learning. He gives over 50 talks per year around the world, has appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, and the BBC, and has been interviewed in numerous worldwide publications including The New York Times, Newsweek, The Economist, Le Monde,  and El Pais.  His previous books include Teaching Digital Natives, From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdome, Digital Game-Based Learning, and Don't Bother Me Mom, I'm Learning!  Prensky is a prolific essayist and writes a regular column in Educational Technology magazine.
  • Marc Prensky
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Available Formats and Book Details

Brain Gain

Technology and the Quest for Digital Wisdom

Marc Prensky

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