PBS in the US aired a fascinating documentary called Digital Nation this week which everyone should watch, but especially teachers since a lot of it deals with the issues of how social media and the net are affecting the classroom and student behaviors.
I myself have long felt there needs to be a paradigm shift in the way we teach kids today, as the old system is becoming less and less effective. That said, as this excellent documentary shows the over-stimulation provided by constantly being in touch with the world is actually harming students and their performance in some ways as well, so we need to be careful about how we go about this.
For example, today’s kids tend to be chronic multitaskers, something that isn’t helping them or their ability to focus or get their work done. They think they can handle it, but as this documentary proves, they clearly can’t. So give it a watch:
I’ve passed this on to some people in my school as well.
I’m of the persuasion that too many people have said too many times throughout all the technological revolutions “This will change the way we interact always!” and it rarely does.
They did it with Radio. It was going to revolutionize teaching methods. So was television. So was video.
So were early computers. And now so is the Internet.
It’s a tool, but kids don’t think any differently in a mechanical way than when human beings first stood up and took a stretch and walked on their feet. We’ve discovered that our brains just work this way.
Right now, I think we’re distracting our children to death with the perception that they will never have an attention span. I’m all for improving it. 🙂