This digital_nation video was extremely interesting and discussed topics ranging from how technology is used in the classroom to how students in Korea have addiction problems. You should definitely take the time to watch the entire video! However, I am going to focus this post on Chapter 2 called What is it Doing to Their Brains? This chapter discusses multitasking and goes over a test given to Stanford students. This study was on multitaskers who are typically doing 5 or 6 different things at once, rather than 3 to 4 like a typical college student. While the students being tested strongly believed in their effectiveness at multitasking, the results showed otherwise. They may believe that they are getting things done, but it is at a slower rate, less actuate, and with many distractions. I can relate to this because I have considered myself a good multitasker, but when writing this blog post, I found myself drifting off onto various sites and texting friends, which got me very off task.
I can personally say that I am multitasking almost all the time. When on the web I am always switching over to Pinterest, Facebook, or checking emails while texting and watching a t.v. show all at the same time. Even when I am in class or completing homework I am usually doing some, if not all of these things. I can say that I still get everything done but multitasking definitely slows me down and affects the quality of my work. When thinking about my future as an elementary school teacher, I know that I will constantly be multitasking. A typical day could consist of running around the room, making sure the lesson is going well, making sure that the students are behaving and participating, organizing papers, checking emails, planning what to do next, all while answering questions at the same time (…and this is just a vague example.) It is obvious that multitasking will take place but it is also important to always be ahead, prepared, and organized to limit distractions and be able to fully focus on your instruction.
When thinking about how students will multitask in class when given technology, I get a little worried. Without technology, students have to give their full attention to the teacher. On the other hand, with technology there is a constant distraction and need to be connected. So it is obvious that multitasking is very evident in classrooms that use technology. The second that students get bored, the computer becomes a huge distraction. Even though schools put up firewalls, the students still find ways to get to social media sites or YouTube. Students always believe that they can multitask while doing work but as the study shows, they are not as effective as they think. Even though it is found that we cannot fully multitask, I believe that technology is too important to not use in the classroom. As teachers, we need to continuously grab student attention and keep them on topic. We must make sure that they are constantly engaged to avoid the many distractions of the worldwide web.
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