Dealing with Distraction in the Digital Age

I don’t think the enemy is digital devices. What we need to do is be sure that the current generation of children has the attentional capacities that other generations had naturally before the distractions of digital devices.

– Daniel Goleman

Earlier this month, Principal John Jordan ’80 emailed faculty members a very tech-relevant blogpost from Mindshift. In the post titled, “Age of Distraction: Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus,” author Katrina Schwartz discusses the impact of the digital classroom on student concentration. It’s a short piece – definitely worth a quick read.

Schwartz interviews author and psychologist Daniel Goleman who voices concern about the relationship between one’s ability to concentrate or focus and ability to empathize. She also mentions a Duke University study that found concentration to be the strongest predictor of future success of students.

How do we, as educators, maintain a learning environment both conducive to student concentration and technologically flexible?

Figuring out an answer is part of the ongoing learning process of the entire school community as newer technology only becomes more ubiquitous.

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