Students React to “The App Generation”

At the start of the 2014 school year, Marty Schmidt, a teacher at the Hong Kong International School, introduced his students to Katie Davis and Howard Gardner’s book The App Generation in his junior-senior elective course “Service, Society, and the Sacred.” Schmidt asked students to read particular sections of the book and to reflect on what they thought were the most important messages, particularly with regards to how technology is changing youth culture.

Schmidt has collected and shared a number of written student responses on his blog. For example, one pair of students commented on identity/loneliness in the age of the Internet, writing:

As members of the youth, we believe that due to the popularity of the Internet, the faceless majority of users lack identity. The presence of the Internet has made us more connected than ever; however, the vast numbers of users have made us lonelier. As a result, our voice is less heard among the sea of similar voices. The concern is that we are being starved of the essential factors of basic human needs of self-actualization (according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs), which consists of: morality, creativity, and spontaneity.

Visit Marty Schmidt’s website to read other thoughts on The App Generation from students in the class.



  1. A Turn Towards the Vertical: Best Books and Resources of 2014 | Social Conscience Education - January 17, 2015

    […] The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World (2013) by Howard Gardner and Katie Davis. As I was preparing to teach my “Service, Society, and the Sacred” class this fall, I chanced upon this book by the legendary educational researcher Howard Gardner and his (then) associate at Harvard, Katie Davis. As we broached the topic of technology’s impact on the younger generation in the class, Gardner and Davis’ book, especially the chapters on identity, intimacy, and imagination, proved just the right mix of research and well-written prose to give us much to consider as a class. Given the technology revolution that our students are living through now, this topic needs to be addressed in their schooling. (My class’ responses were featured on Gardner’s website.) […]

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