Synopses & Reviews
A digital innovator shows how we can thrive in the new technological age.
When Cathy Davidson and Duke University gave free iPods to the freshman class in 2003, critics said they were wasting their money. Yet when students in practically every discipline invented academic uses for their music players, suddenly the idea could be seen in a new light-as an innovative way to turn learning on its head.
This radical experiment is at the heart of Davidson's inspiring new book. Using cutting-edge research on the brain, she shows how "attention blindness" has produced one of our society's greatest challenges: while we've all acknowledged the great changes of the digital age, most of us still toil in schools and workplaces designed for the last century. Davidson introduces us to visionaries whose groundbreaking ideas-from schools with curriculums built around video games to companies that train workers using virtual environments-will open the doors to new ways of working and learning. A lively hybrid of Thomas Friedman and Norman Doidge, Now You See It is a refreshingly optimistic argument for a bold embrace of our connected, collaborative future.
"Davidson (The Future of Thinking) offers a stunning new vision for the future, showing how the latest advances in brain research could revolutionize education and workplace management. Davidson, formerly a vice provost at Duke and now codirector of the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital and Media Learning Competitions, begins with the concept of 'attention blindness,' a basic principle of neuroscience stating that individuals only see a portion of the world in front of them. Davidson asks how, whether working alone or collaboratively, we might overcome this deficit and gain a broader perspective on our mental and physical surroundings. She interviews pioneers who have demonstrated amazing success in accomplishing this goal. Her focus ranges from startup charter schools in rural North Carolina to IBM, demonstrating how to move to a world that recognizes the rich interrelationships inherent in the 21st century. Duke, for instance, allowed students to bring digital experience to their (and their professors') educational experience by giving students iPods and asking them to 'dream up learning applications.' Davidson has produced an exceptional and critically important book, one that is all-but-impossible to put down and likely to shape discussions for years to come. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"As scholarly as [it] is . . . this book about education happens to double as an optimistic, even thrilling, summer read." —The New York Times
A brilliant combination of science and its real-world application, Now You See It sheds light on one of the greatest problems of our historical moment: our schools and businesses are designed for the last century, not for a world in which technology has reshaped the way we think and learn. In this informed and optimistic work, Cathy N. Davidson takes us on a tour of the future of work and education, introducing us to visionaries whose groundbreaking ideas will soon affect every arena of our lives, from schools with curriculums built around video games to workplaces that use virtual environments to train employees.
About the Author
Cathy N. Davidson served as the first vice provost fro interdisciplinary studies at Duke University from 1998 until 2006, where she helped create the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. She currently codirects the annual HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning competitions. She has published more than a dozen books, including Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory and The Future of Thinking. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.