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.

Multimedia In The Classroom: 100 Best Video Sites For Educators

Notice the copyright of this Randy Glasbergen cartoon – 1996. Technology began to drastically change the landscape of the American educational system more than 15 years ago.

Can you imagine a classroom setting 15 years before 1996?

In 1981, the IBM “personal computer,” or IBM PC, was introduced to the public. Educators were just beginning to realize and accept technology’s potential to change the classroom.

Can you imagine a classroom setting 15 years into the future?

Whatever technological advances will shape the classroom experience of 2028, educators will be faced with the same challenge – how do you “harness” the potential of technology to create an interactive, engaging, and dynamic learning experience?

Edudemic provides a great article that lists resources for educators looking to integrate multimedia into their present-day classrooms:

The 100 Best Video Sites For Educators

Add it to your bookmarks. You will thank yourself.

The websites feature content across several subject areas and different purposes. Documentaries, lectures, speeches, educational channels, professional development – you name it, you can probably find it here.

The article conveniently groups the 102 websites into 11 categories:

  • Educational Video Collections
  • General Video Collections
  • Teacher Education
  • Lesson Planning
  • Science, Math, and Technology
  • History, Art, and Social Sciences
  • Video Tools
  • Network and Program Videos
  • Free Movies and Clips
  • How Tos
  • Government and Organizations

Happy integrating!