The Rise of the Human Digital Brain

How Multidirectional Thinking is Changing the Way We Learn

Beatriz Pacheco, Spalding University

Published 2018

Cover Design By: Rebecca Gibson Jones

It is estimated that up to sixty-five percent of children entering grade school this year will end up working in careers that have yet to be created. This is a result, in part, of the rapid advances in technology that have occurred since Apple introduced the iPhone just ten years ago. This technology is not only impacting the way that we learn or the jobs that we will hold in the future, but it is literally changing the way that we think.

As modern technologies are introduced during formative periods of brain development, they are having an impact on traditionally linear patterns of thought. Today’s youth no longer process information in the same linear fashion as past generations. This is creating confusion in educational settings that are specifically designed to meet the needs of linear thinkers. Administrators, educators, and parents must learn to better understand these changes in order to create models that will be viable for 21st century learners. We must work together to create systems that will both support and encourage children who literally think differently than those who teach them.

The Rise of the Human Digital Brain: How Multidirectional Thinking is Changing the Way We Learn contains information about the history of education, the changes in the systems of education over the years, and the impact of technology on learning for 21st century students. It also contains the results of a unique study regarding the impact of iPad instruction on literacy attainment for struggling readers. The hope is that the information contained in this book will cause administrators, educators, parents, and developers of new technologies to take a moment to step back and envision a new model that will revolutionize education across the world.

Praise for The Rise of the Human Digital Brain:

"Beatriz Pacheco’s experience as both a researcher and a practitioner in the field of education lends an authenticity to her writing that is both refreshing and enlightening. She has conducted one of the most comprehensive studies to date concerning the use of the iPad for direct instruction, and the results of her study have the potential to influence the teaching of literacy skills on the national level. I highly recommend this book." ~ Michael Gurian, New York Times bestselling author of The Wonder of Boys and The Minds of Girls

"For much of human history adults have looked upon the youth of their era as flawed creatures who fail to measure up to nostalgic standards. Dr. Beatriz Pacheco’s Rise of the Human Digital Brain guides us to recognize and to understand the elements that make rising generations of young people different from their predecessors. The digital brain prefers collaborative engagement over traditional hierarchy and linear thinking. Anyone with a smart phone has command of massive amounts of data and information, and coming generations will be more creative and more critical. Educational systems must change to meet the needs of a changing time. Any educator would benefit from this book." ~ Tori Murden McClure, President of Spalding University Author of A Pearl in The Storm

"There is no doubt that the accelerated development of digital technology in our day has profoundly transformed the ways in which human beings interact and how we interpret reality. We live in a new paradigm that demands critical assessment of how we educate the new generations, especially in an era of multidimensional thinking. Beatriz Pacheco’s well-researched work insightfully names key questions, poses challenges, and offers ways forward. This book promises to be a key tool in defining the what and the how of education during the rest of the 21st century." ~ Hosffman Ospino Associate Professor of Theology and Education Boston College

Preface. CHAPTER 1. The Time for Educational Reform is Now. CHAPTER 2. 21st Century Education: How We Teach and Assess. CHAPTER 3: Brain-Based Learning in the 21st Century. CHAPTER 4: Systems Thinking and 21st Century Education. CHAPTER 5: The Multidirectional Mind: How It Is Emerging and What it Means. CHAPTER 6: Learning Disability or Learning Differences? CHAPTER 7: 21st Century Literacy. CHAPTER 8: Teaching in the Digital Age: The 21st Century Model. CHAPTER 9: Research Design, Effect Size, and Methodology. CHAPTER 10: The Impact of iPad Multimodalities on the Literacy Skills of Adolescent Males Identified as Low-Achieving Readers. CHAPTER 11: Heeding the Call for More Research. CHAPTER 12: Where Do We Go From Here? Glossary. Index. References.