Howard Gardner and Katie Davis


The App Generation:
How Today's Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World


November 18, 2013
8:00 PM


First Parish (Barn Room)
3 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Cambridge Forum is pleased to welcome professors HOWARD GARDNER and KATIE DAVIS for a discussion of their book The App Generation: How Today's Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World.

Please note: The date for this event was incorrectly listed in Harvard Book Store's recent e-mail newsletter. The correct date is Monday, November 18.

No one has failed to notice that the current generation of youth is deeply—some would say totally—involved with digital media. Professors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis name today’s young people The App Generation, and in this spellbinding book they explore what it means to be “app-dependent” versus “app-enabled” and how life for this generation differs from life before the digital era.

Gardner and Davis are concerned with three vital areas of adolescent life: identity, intimacy, and imagination. Through innovative research, including interviews of young people, focus groups of those who work with them, and a unique comparison of youthful artistic productions before and after the digital revolution, the authors uncover the drawbacks of apps: they may foreclose a sense of identity, encourage superficial relations with others, and stunt creative imagination. On the other hand, the benefits of apps are equally striking: they can promote a strong sense of identity, allow deep relationships, and stimulate creativity. The challenge is to venture beyond the ways that apps are designed to be used, Gardner and Davis conclude, and they suggest how the power of apps can be a springboard to greater creativity and higher aspirations.

"[The App Generation] possesses an interesting insight. ‘Young people growing up in our time are not only immersed in apps . . . they’ve come to think of the world as an ensemble of apps, to see their lives as a string of ordered apps, or perhaps, in many cases, a single, extended, cradle-to-grave app.’”—New York Times

Howard Gardner
Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and twenty-six honorary degrees, he is the author of twenty-five books, including Multiple Intelligences and Changing Minds. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: J. Gardner

Katie Davis
Katie Davis

Katie Davis

Katie Davis is assistant professor, University of Washington Information School, where she studies the role of digital media technologies in adolescents’ lives. She is a former member of the Project Zero team. 

This event will take place in the First Parish Church "Barn Room" on the second floor. Enter the building at the 3 Church Street entrance.

First Parish (Barn Room)
3 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
General Info
(617) 661-1515

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