This summer I picked up Howard Gardner and Katie Davis’ book The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World (2013). As I read, I thought that this would be a thought-provoking way to start my “Service, Society, and the Sacred” class by studying how technology is impacting youth culture. The students responded to the three research-based chapters – on identity, intimacy, and imagination – with thoughtful analyses. We also did a debate about technology and the future. I wrote up a summary of their reactions and sent their comments to the two authors. Howard wrote back immediately; he was quite pleased to have students, for the first time, provide their perspectives on the research findings rather than adults only.
Howard came to Hong Kong in mid-November to receive his 30th honorary doctorate from the Institute of Education. While in Hong Kong, he also spoke at The Asia Society about The App Generation. George Coombs and I had the opportunity to attend Howard’s presentation where he was also interviewed by free-lance writer Kate Whitehead. Thanks to a contact from The Asia Society, a few days later Kate interviewed me and a couple of my seniors, Ive Tse and Rohan Bansal, about the book. (Coincidentally, the other source for her article was Hans Ladegaard, a professor of English at Baptist University, whose wife, Elsebeth, is my deskmate at school.)
The online version was published in the South China Morning Post on December 2nd, and can be found here.
The print version can be found in C7 of the December 2nd, 2014 edition and is entitled, “Left to Their Own Devices.”