Brandeis Magazine: The Winter issue is here

Featuring a Q&A with education expert Arthur Levine '70, who studies how digital-era undergrads find their footing at analog universities.

You can’t call the digital age young anymore — it already has kids in college.

Today’s undergraduates are the first generation of digital “natives,” born after the introduction of the Internet, Microsoft and the smartphone. But is academia ready for students with learning styles shaped by computer technology?

Not really, says education expert Arthur Levine ’70, author of the book “Generation on a Tightrope” and Q&A respondent in the cover story of the just-published Winter 2014 issue of Brandeis Magazine.

Levine has studied the generational traits of college students since the late 1970s. In the Brandeis Magazine piece, titled “Digital Natives, Analog Universities,” he says red-brick universities still have a lot to learn from click-happy students, and vice versa. Inherent tensions — including the extent to which digital learners “want to determine what and how they study” — are keeping the two camps from fully understanding each other, he says.

Elsewhere in the Winter issue you’ll find an excerpt from “The Pope and Mussolini” (Random House, 2014), an explosive new history that takes readers inside the Vatican in the years leading up to and during World War II. In a special introduction written for Brandeis Magazine, the book’s author, David I. Kertzer, PhD’74, details what it was like to plumb newly opened files that proved once and for all how closely Pius XI and Mussolini cooperated with each other, with fatal consequences for Italy’s Jews.

In present-day Vietnam, a 31-year-old lawyer is delving into another kind of darkness, fighting to save women and children from slavery. “A Necessary Hero” profiles Van Ta, Heller MA/SID’12, who uses old-fashioned detective work and modern technology to rescue human-trafficking victims sold into prostitution and sweatshop labor, and bring their abusers to justice.

Finally, in the magazine’s Brandeis Questionnaire, Haile Menkerios ’70, a U.N. undersecretary-general nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for his work in Sudan and South Sudan, opens up about his passionate pursuit of peace.

Categories: Alumni

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