Research shows different activities have quite specific mental effects – here’s how moving your body could sharpen your ideas
Just 10 minutes of playful coordination skills, like bouncing two balls at the same time, improved the attention of a large group of German teenagers.
oga teaches the deliberate command of movement and breathing, with the aim of turning on the body’s “relaxation response”. Science increasingly backs this claim. For example, a 2010 study put participants through eight weeks of daily yoga and meditation practice. In parallel with self-reported stress-reduction, brain scans showed shrinkage of part of their amygdala, a deep-brain structure strongly implicated in processing stress, fear and anxiety.
Walking, either on a treadmill or around Stanford’s leafy campus, bolstered divergent thinking: the free-roaming, idea-generating component of creative thought. It didn’t help convergent thinking, though.
more on mindfulness in this IMS blog:
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“There is a long history of people worrying and complaining about new technologies and also putting them up on a pedestal as the answer…
As a society, I think we’re beginning to recognize this imbalance, and we’re in a position to ask questions like “How do we live a more balanced life in the fast world? How do we achieve adequate forms of slow practice?”
David Levy – See more at: http://tricycle.org/trikedaily/mindful-tech/#sthash.9iABezUN.dpuf
xiv. fast world and slow world practices. always-on lifestyle.
p. 3. our devices have vastly extended our attentional choices, but the human attentional capacity remains unchanged. how to make wise choices and figure out what constitutes a wise choice, so we can use our digital tools to their best advantage and to ours.
by paying attention how you use your cellphone, how you handle email, how you feel when you are on FB or Pinterest, or when you multitask, you will be able to see which aspects of your current online practices are working well and which aren’t. seeing these will clearly will allow you to make constructive changes.
premise: we function more effectively and more healthfully online when we are more attentive, relaxed, and emotionally balanced. Also stated as negative: we function less effectively and less healthfully online when we are distracted, physically uncomfortable, and emotionally upset. that happens often when we are online. Good news – we can do something about it.
P. 4 engage and strengthen two forms of attention : 1. the ability to stay focused on what you are doing at the moment. 2. self-observation / self-awareness
p. 24. each excercise follows the same six-part structure
step 1: perform primary practice (email, FB etc)
step 2: observe what are you doing and feelig, paying special atention to what is happening in your mind and body as you engage in your primary practicestep 3: log your observation, in written form
step 4: consolidate observations by summarizing
step 5: formulate personal guidelines based on consolidated observatins
step 6: share and discuss with others
p. 25-26. mindfulness: the ability to direct your attention where you want it to go – to have a choice. in a world, where we are surrounded by advertisements, sales pitches, the biggest, best, and brightest promised of happiness and fulfillment that money can buy, not to mention the clear constant information overload of emails, status updates, tweets, photo albums, Netflix queues, RSS feeds, playin whack-a-mole with phone notifications. I wish I could say that we, could get away, but i don’t think that as a society we can, or even that we should (this is where Turkle cannot help).
p. 27 two modes of attention
p. 27 one is like a flash light in a dark room: you see a chair; move to the left, you see something else.
p. 28 the other mode is to go beyond focusing on a single object, but opening up to the surrounding environment. like the same flash beam, but instead intense narrowed one, this is a diffused allowing to cover more, but with less visual acuity.
p. 29 both modes can exclude each other
p. 30 attentional shift, attentional choice
how to deploy our task focus (focused attention) to our self-awareness (open attention)
the brain has two different attentional systems: one is top-down and is under conscious control. the bottom-up system, an earlier evolutionary development, is completely automated. scanning the enthronement for potential threats, alerting us to them whether we want or not, since it is hard wired.
p. 31-32 interruption have two varieties: external ones: sounds, smells, movements, physical contact. internal interruptions are: hunger, mental activity (remembering late appointment).
we cannot turn alerting mechanisms, but we can minimize distractions.
we cannot turn everything off and eliminate all interruptions. what we can do is to notice them as they arise and make a decision how to proceed and face them – whether to respond in the moment or ignore them.
it is now clearly established that we can mainly focus on only one thing at the a time. thus we have the ability to prioritize and focus on only one task.
34. emotions and the stress response
p. 40 strengthening task focus
mindful breathing – optional
simplest and most widespread form of attention training uses the breath as the object of focus. when mind wanders, bring back focus on your in- and out-breath: focusing, opening (noticing) and choosing. focus on your breath, notice when you have strayed and choose to come back to the breath
p. 41 strengthening self-observation / awareness
p. 42 Exercise 1. Observing email
more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
more on the contemplative practices, contemplative computing specifically in this IMS blog
Research: Social media has negative impact on academic performance
By Denny Carter, Managing Editor
April 17th, 2013
My note: very weak article by the managing editor
- first: link to the Hospital Center, but not to the study; difficult to check the facts, which are discussed in the editorial.
- title talks about “social media,” but it is not about social media, it is about texting. danah boyd and Eszter Hargittai are apparently not household names in the house of the managing editor
- then the author jumps from one issue to another: mindfulness or contemplative computing, but h/she has no clue about these issues also.
the research, which claims that social media (which is not social media, but more like BYOD + texting) has a negative impact on academic performance is no different the research that shows very positive impact of learning with social media. It is NOT about social media, it is about how it is used (methodology).
More on contemplative computing in this IMS blog
Also on the connection of mobile devices and sleep:
Computers and health: ‘When you’re sitting, you’re one step above being dead’
CES 2016 is packed with health companies offering solutions to desk-based laptop slouch. Our reporter stopped slouching for long enough to try some of them
how to focus in the age of distraction
Plan for today, Mon, Nov 17 class session:
Parent involvement in their children’s social emotional and academic development.
- Introduce myself, who I am, who do I work with. Why is it good to know IMS and consider working with IMS. How to contact us – 5 min
- Start with a video from the following IMS blog entry: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/05/01/on-digital-literacy/ :
http://youtu.be/d5kW4pI_VQw – 2 min. What is the video about, how do students think it relates to their class (parent involvement in their children’s social emotional and academic development) – about 5 min
- Group work assignment – what is digital literacy and why is it important to people of all ages:
Students work in groups and outline a definition of digital literacy and a list of 5 reasons about the importance – 5 min
Study and discuss the following infographic (5 min)
For and against children spending time with technology. Gaming, social media, and computer use in general as addiction. “Disconnect/Unplugged” (Sherry Turkle) versus contemplative computing and similar meditative and contemplative practices: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/11/05/getting-unplugged/
- Discussion on how does digital literacy vary between age groups; how do people from different ages communicate. How do they work together and help each other when learning about digital literacy. Who is the best source for students to learn about digital literacy (hint – IMS ;)) – 10 min
Suggested source for more information: The SlideShare presentation on the IMS blog entry: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/05/01/on-digital-literacy/: http://www.slideshare.net/dajbelshaw/etmooc-t3-s1-digital-literacies-with-dr-doug-belshaw
- Discussion on digital identity, digital citizenship, privacy and security. – 10 min
- Questions and suggestions regarding
It seems that the perils of social media spill back to previous medias. The migration of TV content from TV to streaming (Neflix, Hulu etc) enables the trend of binge watching, which in addictiveness resembles greatly concerns typical for social media such as : addictiveness, poor concentration (AKA multitasking) etc.
Can the lessons learned by “disconnect,” “contemplative computing” and similar practices in mindfulness be used to deal with binge watching?
Below is selected bibliography. Please feel welcome to add your titles, findings and ideas how to resolve the issue
Matrix, S. (2014). The Netflix Effect: Teens, Binge Watching, and On-Demand Digital Media Trends. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 6(1), 119. http://login.libproxy.stcloudstate.edu/login?qurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ebscohost.com%2flogin.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26db%3dedo%26AN%3d98488719%26site%3deds-live%26scope%3dsite
Bazilian, E. (2014). Vincent Kartheiser: the Mad Men star stays away from social media but doesn’t mind an occasional bout of binge-watching. ADWEEK, (15). 58. http://login.libproxy.stcloudstate.edu/login?qurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ebscohost.com%2flogin.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26db%3dedsgao%26AN%3dedsgcl.365691198%26site%3deds-live%26scope%3dsite
Maria Popova: Staying Present and Grounded in the Age of Information Overload
The real work is how not to hang your self-worth, your sense of success and merits, the fullness of your heart, and the stability of your soul on those numbers.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Sister Published A Book About A Child Whose Mom Takes Her iPad Away
social media etiquette
Contemplative Pedagogy and Dealing with Technology
Dan Barbezat, Amherst College; David Levy, University of Washington
The accelerating pace of life is reducing the time for thoughtful reflection and in particular for contemplative scholarship, within the academy. The loss of time to think is occurring at exactly the moment when scholars, educators, and students have gained access to digital tools of great value to scholarship. This interactive session reviews research on technology’s impacts and demonstrates some contemplative practices that can respond to them. Contemplative pedagogy can offset the distractions of our multi-tasking, multi-media culture, and show how the needs of this generation of students can be met through innovative teaching methods that integrate secular practices of contemplation.
Topics: Faculty Professional Development, Teaching & Learning
Walking the Labyrinth: Contemplative Instructional Techniques to Enhance Learner Engagement
Carol Henderson and Janice Monroe, Ithaca College
Bringing ancient traditional meditative skills into the contemporary classroom, con-templative learning techniques serve as an effective counterbalance to the speedi-ness and distractions of today’s fast-paced technology-based cultural environment. Applicable to both faculty development programs and to faculty working directlywith students, contemplative methods create a richer, more engaging learningenvironment by allowing participants to quiet their minds and focus deeply on the material at hand. This interactive session provides instruction and practice in con-templative techniques, offers examples of their use, and supports the integration of these techniques into any discipline or subject area.
Topics: Faculty Professional Development, Teaching & Learning
Contemplative Computing and Our Future of Education
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Stanford University
A generation of educators have spent their professional lives hearing that technol-
ogy is changing the world, transforming the way we think, and that higher educa-
tion must evolve or become obsolete. In case you didn’t get the message in the
1960s and 1970s, with cassette tapes, television and mainframe computers, it was
repeated in the 1980s when personal computers appeared; repeated again in the
1990s, with CD-ROMs (remember those) and the World Wide Web; repeated again
in the early 2000s with blogs and wikis; and recently, repeated once again in the
wake of social media, YouTube and the real-time Web.
This language of technological revolution and institutional reaction is backward. It
gives too much credit and agency to technology, and makes today’s changes seem
unprecedented and inevitable. Neither is actually true. Contemplative computing—
the effort to design technologies and interactions that aren’t perpetually demanding
and distracting, but help users be more mindful and focused—provides a language
for talking differently about the place of technology in teaching, learning, and edu-
cation. We think of today’s technologies as uniquely appealing to our reptilian, dopa-
mine- and stimulation-craving brains. In reality, distraction is an ancient problem,
and the rise of contemplative practices and institutions (most notably monasteries
and universities) is a response to that problem. Abandoning our traditional role as
stewards of contemplative life is as dangerous for the societies we serve as it is
short-sighted and counterproductive. Contemplative computing argues that even
today, people have choices about how to interact with technologies, how to use
them, and how to make the parts of our extended minds; and that part of our job
as educators is to show students how to exercise that agency.