New media, misinformation discussed at Greenwich symposium

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GREENWICH — Students texting in the classroom, an obsession with cellular devices, anti-intellectualism and the decline of reading — those are some of the indicators of a rapidly changing media environment, according to a panel of educators and scholars who discussed the subject of new media and its limitations Wednesday.

“Today’s Education Challenge — Separating Fact From Fiction in a Digital Age” was the topic of a discussion hosted by the Retired Men’s Association of Greenwich, moderated by Ernest Fleishman, a former superintendent of Greenwich Public Schools. The panel was tied in with a community reading project organized by the Greenwich Library around “Fahrenheit 451,” the Ray Bradbury novel set in a dystopian future where books are banned and burned.

Fleishman noted the importance of books to Bradbury — an author who never attended college, but acquired a serious education through his own studies at the local library. “He was there all day and night. Books stirred his imagination and provided him with a sense of independence,” he said.

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