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Digital Distraction

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Today I  had the privilege of leading  a discussion with educators from University of Texas at Tyler.  The topic was Digital Distraction.  When was the last time you glanced over at a colleague during a meeting, watched as they texted, tweeted, or emailed and they felt compelled to justify their actions with “I am multi-tasking”.  When was the last time a student tried to convince you they could multi-task?   Studies hands down show that multi-tasking is a myth.  Neurologically it is impossible.  What is possible and what colleagues and students are doing is “task switching”.  And when they switch tasks, their focus and brain shifts to that task. Task switching hinders and prevents students from reaching their educational goals.   

Why do students come to college with this connection to their electronic devices?  How did they come to believe the myth that there is such a thing as multi-tasking?  How did they become so addicted?  

Looking at K-12….A public or private school  that has a 1-1 laptop program, and/or a BYOD program is considered progressive, and forward thinking.  Yet when those laptop programs, or BYOD programs are rolled out, how much of a roll out is there for teachers and administrators on the topic of the myth of multi tasking and the reality of task switching, and how that affects pursuing educational goals?  Do schools offer PD to these teachers PRIOR to roll out of 1-1 and BYOD so they understand the effects of digital distraction?  Are students required to take some type of education/focus on the myth of multi-tasking, the neurology of “Task Switching” and the myth of Multi Tasking?   

Where you aware that effective “Multi-tasking” has been proven impossible?  What do you do at your school to address the issues of “task switching” and how it affects learning?  Do you feel this topic needs addressing? 

Would love to hear from you!

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