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Age of Distraction: Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus

Age of Distraction: Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus
Digital classroom tools like computers, tablets and smartphones offer exciting opportunities to deepen learning through creativity, collaboration and connection, but those very devices can also be distracting to students. Similarly, parents complain that when students are required to complete homework assignments online, it’s a challenge for students to remain on task. The ubiquity of digital technology in all realms of life isn’t going away, but if students don’t learn how to concentrate and shut out distractions, research shows they’ll have a much harder time succeeding in almost every area. “The real message is because attention is under siege more than it has ever been in human history, we have more distractions than ever before, we have to be more focused on cultivating the skills of attention,” said Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence and other books about social and emotional learning on KQED’s Forum program.

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Tackling the Digital Divide: Low-Income Students Weigh In The article For Low Income Kids, Access to Devices Could Be the Equalizer raised the possibility that mobile technology in classrooms could help narrow the digital divide between the nation’s low-income and more affluent students. The article, which included suggestions for educators about how to access devices and what do with them, struck a chord with readers. Many were outraged that some students are missing out on valuable learning resources because of their families’ socio-economic status, while others worried that bringing mobile devices into the classroom – any classroom – invites chaos. “The internet is the modern day encyclopedia,” wrote commenter Patrick Hopkins, who grew up in a single-parent low-income household, and now teaches in an upper-middle class school district. “Teachers must have an abundant amount of trust in their students that they are staying on task when using their own devices in the classroom.” For some readers, it comes back to the issue of trust.

final exams vs. projects – nope, false dichotomy: a practical start to the blog year Let’s begin the new year with a nuts and bolts educational issue. (My New Year’s Resolution is to say less about hot-button political issues and make fewer needless enemies…). In this post I consider the place of final exams. In the next post I consider the place of lectures in teaching. Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say Claire Handscombe has a commitment problem online. Like a lot of Web surfers, she clicks on links posted on social networks, reads a few sentences, looks for exciting words, and then grows restless, scampering off to the next page she probably won’t commit to. “I give it a few seconds — not even minutes — and then I’m moving again,” says Handscombe, a 35-year-old graduate student in creative writing at American University. But it’s not just online anymore. She finds herself behaving the same way with a novel. “It’s like your eyes are passing over the words but you’re not taking in what they say,” she confessed.

6 Things the Most Productive People Do Every Day Ever feel like you’re just not getting enough done? Know how many days per week you’re actually productive? About 3: People work an average of 45 hours a week; they consider about 17 of those hours to be unproductive (U.S.: 45 hours a week; 16 hours are considered unproductive). We could all be accomplishing a lot more — but then again, none of us wants to be a workaholic either. It’d be great to get tons done and have work/life balance.

I Forgot My Phone Technology has rapidly evolved in the last two decades and in turn, has impacted our everyday lives. From the monolithic computer once only available to corporations for research and development to the almost ubiquitous movement to smartphones, these pocket devices have crept into so many features of our world. And trust that is has not gone unnoticed. New Tech City, a podcast show through New York Public Radio, has created a new series asking listeners to describe their relationship with their smartphones. Some have described this relationship as tenuous, but a necessary evil. Others elaborating extensively on how their smartphone is a limb they couldn't imagine life without. Rubrics for Teachers - Assessment A collection of rubrics for assessing portfolios, group work/cooperative learning, concept map, research process/ report, PowerPoint, oral presentation, web page, blog, wiki, and other social media projects. Quick Links to Rubrics Social Media Project Rubrics Wiki RubricCriteria for assessing individual and group Wiki contributions.

Is Google Making Us Stupid? - Nicholas Carr Illustration by Guy Billout "Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Role-Playing Game Upends College Lecture and Ignites Fire in Students Carsten Tolkmit/Flickr The excerpt below is from the book “Minds on Fire: How Role-Immersion Games Transform College,” by Barnard University professor Mark C. Carnes. Everyone responds to a role- immersion game in a different way. The Insanity of the New Humanity: Put Away the Phone and Be There Restaurants and public places in Ireland are loud. They looked so different from the United States -- full of people laughing and talking to one another -- that it took me several days to figure out just what I was seeing. Actually, it was what I wasn't seeing. As we traveled through Ireland, families and friends met each other for dinner or coffee just like we do here in the States, but without one thing. Their cell phones weren't out.

Teens feeling stressed, and many not managing it well Teens across the USA are feeling high levels of stress that they say negatively affect every aspect of their lives, a new national survey suggests. More than a quarter (27%) say they experience "extreme stress" during the school year, vs. 13% in the summer. And 34% expect stress to increase in the coming year. Stressors range from school to friends, work and family. 22 Science-Backed Study Tips to Ace a Test ’Tis the season to start studying. All over the country, students in high school, college, and grad school are going into panic mode, wondering how they’ll manage to remember an entire semester’s worth of information before the big final. Luckily, we’ve got some advice to make those freak-outs a thing of the past. Stop Procrastination in Its Tracks  Do you ever delay doing something important in favor of less pressing, even frivolous activities? With so many distractions around us, being productive is challenging at best, especially if you don't prepare and properly allocate your time and resources. I speak from experience as someone who has a tendency to procrastinate and well knows how a lack of preparedness can lead to disappointment, aggravation and missed opportunity. Leaving what matters most to the mercy of the trivial is irresponsible. While an important task may not appear to be exciting or enjoyable, there are risks to consider when choosing to put off the inevitable. If you're anything like me, once I'm focused, I'm off to the races.

Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives Overview of responses In a survey about the future of the internet, technology experts and stakeholders were fairly evenly split as to whether the younger generation’s always-on connection to people and information will turn out to be a net positive or a net negative by 2020. They said many of the young people growing up hyperconnected to each other and the mobile Web and counting on the internet as their external brain will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who will do well in key respects. Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes For the last ten years, we've worked one-on-one with students from elementary school through graduate school. No matter their age, no matter the material, when you ask what they're struggling with, students almost universally name a subject: "math," "English" or, in some instances, "school." Doubting that all of school is the issue, we then ask to see their last test. After some grumbling, the student digs down, deep into the dark, dank recesses of his or her backpack, and pulls out a balled-up, lunch-stained paper that, once smoothed out, turns out to be the latest exam.

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