con?:with the advent of personal assistants like Siri and Google Now that aim to serve up information before you even know you need it, you don’t even need to type the questions.
pro: Whenever new technology emerges — including newspapers and television — discussions about how it will threaten our brainpower always crops up, Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker wrote in a 2010 op-ed in The New York Times. Instead of making us stupid, he wrote, the Internet and technology “are the only things that will keep us smart.”
Pro and con: Daphne Bavelier, a professor at the University of Geneva, wrote in 2011 that we may have lost the ability for oral memorization valued by the Greeks when writing was invented, but we gained additional skills of reading and text analysis.
con: Daphne Bavelier, a professor at the University of Geneva, wrote in 2011 that we may have lost the ability for oral memorization valued by the Greeks when writing was invented, but we gained additional skills of reading and text analysis.
con: A 2008 study commissioned by the British Library found that young people go through information online very quickly without evaluating it for accuracy.
pro or con?: A 2011 study in the journal Science showed that when people know they have future access to information, they tend to have a better memory of how and where to find the information — instead of recalling the information itself.
pro: The bright side lies in a 2009 study conducted by Gary Small, the director of University of California Los Angeles’ Longevity Center, that explored brain activity when older adults used search engines. He found that among older people who have experience using the Internet, their brains are two times more active than those who don’t when conducting Internet searches.
the Internet holds great potential for education — but curriculum must change accordingly. Since content is so readily available, teachers should not merely dole out information and instead focus on cultivating critical thinking
make questions “Google-proof.”
“Design it so that Google is crucial to creating a response rather than finding one,” he writes in his company’s blog. “If students can Google answers — stumble on (what) you want them to remember in a few clicks — there’s a problem with the instructional design.”
Children who use smartphones, tablets, and video games for more than seven hours a day are more likely to experience premature thinning of the cortex, the outermost layer of the brain that processes thought and action, a 2018 study found. https://t.co/OJe6ZTBVkx
But others say banning laptops can be counterproductive, arguing these devices can create opportunity for students to discover more information during class or collaborate. And that certain tools and technologies are necessary for learners who struggle in a traditional lecture format.
Flanigan, who studies self-regulation, or the processes students use to achieve their learning goals, began researching digital distraction after confronting it in the classroom as a graduate instructor.
Digital distraction tempts all of us, almost everywhere. That’s the premise of Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport, an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University.
The professor is upset. The professor has taken action, by banning laptops.
Bruff, whose next book, Intentional Tech: Principles to Guide the Use of Educational Technology in College Teaching, is set to be published this fall, is among the experts who think that’s a mistake. Why? Well, for one thing, he said, students are “going to have to graduate and get jobs and use laptops without being on Facebook all day.” The classroom should help prepare them for that.
When Volk teaches a course with 50 or 60 students, he said, “the idea is to keep them moving.”Shifting the focal point away from the professor can help, too. “If they are in a small group with their colleagues,” Volk said, “very rarely will I see them on their laptops doing things they shouldn’t be.”
Professors may not see themselves as performers, but if they can’t get students’ attention, nothing else they do matters. “Learning doesn’t happen without attention,” said Lang, who is writing a book about digital distraction, Teaching Distracted Minds.
One aspect of distraction Lang plans to cover in his book is its history. It’s possible, he said, to regard our smartphones as either too similar or dissimilar from the distractions of the past. And it’s important, he said, to remember how new this technology really is, and how much we still don’t know about it.
Study: Use of digital devices in class affects students’ long-term retention of information
A new study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University reveals that students who are distracted by texts, games, or videos while taking lecture notes on digital devices are far more likely to have their long-term memory affected and to perform more poorly on exams, even if short-term memory is not impacted, EdSurge reports.
Exam performance was not only poorer for students using the devices, but also for other students in classes that permitted the devices because of the distraction factor, the study found.
After conducting the study, Arnold Glass, the lead researcher, changed his own policy and no longer allows his students to take notes on digital devices.
A nationally representative Gallup poll conducted in March showed that 42% of K-12 teachers feel that the use of digital devices in the classroom are “mostly helpful” for students, while only 28% feel they are “mostly harmful.” Yet 69% of those same teachers feel the devices have a harmful impact on student mental health and 55% feel they negatively affect student physical health.
findings, published in the journal Economics of Education Review in a paper, based on an analysis of the grades of about 5,600 students at a private US liberal arts college, found that using a laptop appeared to harm the grades of male and low-performing students most significantly.
While the authors were unable to definitively say why laptop use caused a “significant negative effect in grades”, the authors believe that classroom “cyber-slacking” plays a major role in lower achievement, with wi-fi-enabled computers providing numerous distractions for students.
High schoolers assigned a laptop or a Chromebook were more likely to take notes in class, do internet research, create documents to share, collaborate with their peers on projects, check their grades and get reminders about tests or homework due dates.
When we learn something outside the comfort zone, we attempt to acquire knowledge or skills in an area where we’re lacking. Part of the discomfort derives from learning something we anticipate will be difficult. We have no idea how to do it, or we think it requires abilities we don’t have or have in meager amounts. Moreover, poor performance or outright failure lurk as likely possibilities.
I wonder if learning outside the comfort zone isn’t especially difficult for faculty. Theoretically, it shouldn’t be. We’ve devoted years to learning, but most of what we know resides in one area. We’re experts at learning more about what we already know and love. And we’re used to having our learning expertise recognized—by students, colleagues, and sometimes even at home. However, plop us down in a discipline unlike our own, task us with learning a skill we don’t have, and suddenly, we look and act exactly like our students. And that’s the very reason this kind of learning has all sorts of positive implications for teaching. It’s good every now and then to be reacquainted with feeling stupid.
My note. Eventually, I had to tell a [already departured] library director: it is better to throw stones in the swamp of mediocrity then to sink slowly into it. To the objection of my colleague that throwing stones does NOT improve the situation, I could only say: making ripples until someone more diplomatic will draw the attention means more then just slowing sinking into the swamp of mediocrity. That swamp is determined by the inability / unwillingness of faculty the leave their comfort zone.
In regard to the teacher, who has students memorize and recite a poem – I will never forget Herr Klenske, who made us memorize in 10th grade of high school “Erlkoening” (http://ingeb.org/Lieder/werreite.html). It made us hate him as much, as now I, at least, appreciate his unique approach to fostering to high school students persistence and will.
there’s a long-standing and still fairly widely held belief that the teaching needed for a particular kind of content is unique. Unless you know the content, you can’t know how to teach it.
What and how we teach are linked, but there are other connections besides those between method and material, and those connections aren’t all unique to the discipline. All (well, almost all) teachers want students engaged, and student engagement in physics and philosophy doesn’t look all that different. All teachers are concerned with classroom management issues. If students are dealing more with their phones than the material, the content is irrelevant. All teachers have a responsibility to prevent cheating. All teachers aspire to use fair and equitable grading practices. Course design principles transcend disciplines. The features of a good multiple-choice question are not discipline specific. And then there are those student characteristics that challenge teachers in every field: passivity, lack of motivation, low self-esteem, less than adequate study skills, and excessive grade-orientation start the list.
Business does have something to teach educators, but it’s neither the saving power of competition nor flashy ideas like disruptive innovation.
While technology can be put to good use by talented teachers, they, and not the futurists, must take the lead. The process of teaching and learning is an intimate act that neither computers nor markets can hope to replicate. Small wonder, then, that the business model hasn’t worked in reforming the schools — there is simply no substitute for the personal element.
Use quotation marks: If you’re looking for a specific term, put it in quotation marks to get better results.
Twithority: With Twithority, you’ll find Twitter search results with authority.
Use hashtags: If you come across a useful hashtag, click on it to see what else you’ll find.
Subscribe: Keep up with useful keywords and hashtags by setting up an RSS subscription for them.
Pay attention to trends: Stay on top of the latest in your field by seeking out and participating in trending topics. For instance, students enrolled in political science degree programs may want to follow trending topics related to upcoming local and state elections.
Retweetist: Retweetist shares popular trends, topics, and people using retweets on Twitter.
Tweet Volume: With this tool, you can find out if your keywords are popular on Twitter or not.
Tweetmeme: Check out Tweetmeme to learn about retweeting stats for articles on Twitter.
Twitt(url)y: Find out about hot news with this tool that sorts URLs by how frequently they are mentioned in tweets.
Twackle: With this aggregator, you’ll be able to find news and more in a single destination.
Actually complete your bio. You’ll get more mileage out of your Twitter account if you actually create a profile that says something about you, offering potential followers information about your interests, professional or otherwise.
Learn the basics. Learn the basic terminology for Twitter and the major functions it can perform by doing a little reading on helpful social media blogs beforehand. You’ll thank yourself later.
Get some style. Before you send out your first tweet, decide what kind of tweeter you want to be. The London School of Economics and Political Science offers up three major styles here so you can learn more about the subject.
Learn from others. One of the best ways to learn how to use Twitter is to spend some time seeing how others have set up and been using their accounts. Luckily, there are tons of other academics on Twitter to learn from.
Don’t be mean. The Internet is full of people who are all too happy to say some pretty harsh things, but just because they’re incredibly tactless doesn’t mean you have to be. Never say anything on Twitter you wouldn’t want people to find out about, or wouldn’t say in any other situation. If people are hassling you, ignore them and move on.
Announce that you’ll be joining a hashtag chat or conference. If you’re going to be tweeting more than usual, let your followers know in advance so they can choose to tune out if they’re not interested in your live tweeting or chatting.
Actually respond in a reasonable amount of time. If someone asks you a question or directs a tweet your way, respond as soon as you can, just like with email or any other digital communication, especially if you’re using Twitter in your courses.
Be gracious and say thank you. A little bit of gratitude goes a long way on Twitter. If someone helps you out or shares your research, don’t forget to say thanks.
Make mistakes. No one is perfect, and if you’re new to Twitter you’re probably going to have a few gaffes along the way as you learn the ropes. That’s OK! Don’t let it slow your enthusiasm for using the social site.
Start your own hashtag chat. Twitter chats have exploded in popularity in recent months, so get in on the trend while the getting’s good. Start your own chat on an academic topic, or chime in on other bigger existing chats for a chance to network.
Find and use some hashtags. You’ll make it easier for others to find your tweets if you add a few relevant hashtags here and there.
Do ‘Follow Friday’. Every Friday, Twitter explodes with suggestions on who to follow. Offer up your own and you may just end up in someone else’s suggestions.
Share the stuff you’re reading. Reading a story on a site like Edudemic? Found an amazing article in pop-science about your research field? Share it! If it’s interesting, it’ll probably get retweeted and passed around, and you might just interest a student or two to boot.
Reach out and connect with someone. Not everyone you connect with on Twitter has to be in your field or even in academia. In fact, you might enrich your research and your professional life by reaching out to other fields and professions.
Do some backchannel talks. Whether you have students post to Twitter during class or ask them to share comments during a presentation, these backchannel talks can help facilitate conversation and provide a record of a shared learning experience.
Create your own classroom hashtag. One way to keep classroom tweets organized is by having a shared hashtag that all students use. Just make sure no one else is using it!
Connect Twitter to Moodle or Blackboard. You can help push students to interact using Twitter by adding a Twitter widget to your Blackboard or Moodle site for the class. Follow the instructions here to get started.
Don’t mandate your students follow you on Twitter. Don’t force students to follow you on Twitter unless it’s part of the course. Let them decide to follow or not.
Be happy (see #5 above). You don’t have to be super serious on Twitter to earn students’ respect. In fact, loosening up could just help improve your rapport with your students.
Live-tweet a conference or event (see #6). Share your conference-going experience by tweeting updates about it throughout the day to your followers.
Share some of your lesson plans. Educators and academics can come together to share and collaborate on lesson plans quite easily using Twitter.
Collaborate with other teachers / parents / students. If you find you have similar interests with another academic, use Twitter to work together on research ideas, classroom solutions, and other topics.
Collaborate with other classrooms in your school, district, or another country.Why work alone when you can connect with other college classrooms? That’s just what many college classes are doing these days.
Host reading discussions. Holding a reading discussion over Twitter gives everyone a chance to chime in, even shy students who might not otherwise speak up.
Actually use Twitter for writing assignments. Want to teach your students the art of brevity? Assign them poetry or prose to be written on Twitter.
The Teacher’s Guide To Twitter Hashtags
Are you looking to figure out exactly which Twitter hashtag is the right one to follow? There’s no shortage of options and it can feel overwhelming. Sure, there’s the popular #edchat and #edtech hashtags most of us follow. But what about the more focused tags that you’re missing out on?
I’d suggest using this rather than the longer #elearning
chat platform for flipped classroom educators. See here.
platform for those interested in the flipped classroom.
Obsolete. Use the shorter #flipclass. All about the flipped classroom
Good for finding global collaboration / connections, sharing #globaled practice. Official chats run monthly over 3 days. Click here for schedule
I prefer the student-centered approach, however, where the teacher is more a guide-on-the-side rather than sage-on-the-stage.
Others, too, agree that the trick is to become invisible; active but invisible!
SPIEGEL: But you also said that lists can establish order. So, do both order and anarchy apply? That would make the Internet, and the lists that the search engine Google creates, prefect for you.
Eco: Yes, in the case of Google, both things do converge. Google makes a list, but the minute I look at my Google-generated list, it has already changed. These lists can be dangerous — not for old people like me, who have acquired their knowledge in another way, but for young people, for whom Google is a tragedy. Schools ought to teach the high art of how to be discriminating.
SPIEGEL: Are you saying that teachers should instruct students on the difference between good and bad? If so, how should they do that?
Eco: Education should return to the way it was in the workshops of the Renaissance. There, the masters may not necessarily have been able to explain to their students why a painting was good in theoretical terms, but they did so in more practical ways. Look, this is what your finger can look like, and this is what it has to look like. Look, this is a good mixing of colors. The same approach should be used in school when dealing with the Internet. The teacher should say: “Choose any old subject, whether it be German history or the life of ants. Search 25 different Web pages and, by comparing them, try to figure out which one has good information.” If 10 pages describe the same thing, it can be a sign that the information printed there is correct. But it can also be a sign that some sites merely copied the others’ mistakes.
SPIEGEL: You yourself are more likely to work with books, and you have a library of 30,000 volumes. It probably doesn’t work without a list or catalogue.
Eco: I’m afraid that, by now, it might actually be 50,000 books. When my secretary wanted to catalogue them, I asked her not to. My interests change constantly, and so does my library. By the way, if you constantly change your interests, your library will constantly be saying something different about you. Besides, even without a catalogue, I’m forced to remember my books. I have a hallway for literature that’s 70 meters long. I walk through it several times a day, and I feel good when I do. Culture isn’t knowing when Napoleon died. Culture means knowing how I can find out in two minutes. Of course, nowadays I can find this kind of information on the Internet in no time. But, as I said, you never know with the Internet.