Associative Trail #3 Diigo Distractions

Each week I read Technology Trends in the NYT, WJS, and local papers and have followed several articles recently about distractions created by connectivity, apps, alerts, and social media. One WSJ writer observes that the limitations of our minds means we have to be able to reduce our online decisions about whether to engage with them as a basic binary choice: To connect, or not.  The cost of these distractions is further related to what psychologists call “ego depletion” and willpower.  Both choices are reportedly cognitively demanding.

Say No to the Distraction-Industrial Complex
There’s Nothing Wrong With Connectivity as Long as We Engage on Our Own Terms
By CHRISTOPHER MIMS June 29, 2014 6:45 p.m. ET

A NYT writer reports there is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers.  Although the researchers note that their findings represent the subjective views of teachers and should not be seen as definitive proof that widespread use of computers, phones and video games affects students’ capability to focus, the conclusion is thought-provoking:

Scholars who study the role of media in society say no long-term studies have been done that adequately show how and if student attention span has changed because of the use of digital technology. But there is mounting indirect evidence that constant use of technology can affect behavior, particularly in developing brains, because of heavy stimulation and rapid shifts in attention.

By MATT RICHTEL November 1, 2012

The NYT article uses data from a Pew Research Internet Project report titled:  HOW TEACHERS ARE USING TECHNOLOGY AT HOME AND IN THEIR CLASSROOMS – Part III: Bringing Technology into the Classroom posted FEBRUARY 28, 2013.



The data about distractions with new media seems to support the NYT and WSJ articles:


So my focus question is:  How can participatory technology augment student attention to regulate information overload and control digital distraction during internet-based inquiry processes?

My associative trail is that Content Curation (Attention-getting signals) and Crowdsourcing (Group Feedback) using participatory technology can augment student attention during internet-based research and discovery activities.

My Research Objectives include : Finding, organizing, annotating, tagging, and sharing content that can augment new media consumption within a community of inquiry by increasing social, cognitive, and teaching presence of participants.

I added a Working Bibliography Page to the Staff Sandbox 360 Blog.

Stay tuned for tag cloud of related concepts….





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