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<div id="content_view" class="wiki" style="display: block">'''Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age'''<br />  A growing body of research is emerging to show the detrimental impacts of the saturation of cell phones, text messaging, and laptops on people's attention spans, learning abilities, social and communications skills, and overall mental health. These findings also have relevance for our thinking about broader social issues such as social cohesion, class and racial polarization, and social movements. The following links provide resources for critical reflection on the uses of technology and its effects in our classrooms. They also address some of the larger societal concerns and issues that emerge as new generations of young people are increasingly socialized around digital technology.<br /> <br /> <span style="display: block; text-align: center"> '''''"Technology often causes us to lose our senses when it comes to norms of polite behavior and, as a result,'''''</span><span style="display: block; text-align: center">'''''perfectly nice people become unbelievably rude and insulting."''''' --[http://learnercentered.wordpress.com/2008/08/15/dont-text-in-class-and-heres-why/ Dr. Cara Finnegan ]<br /> </span><br /> More and more people are ''[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/better/technology/9-ways-to-start-and-stick-to-a-digital-detox/ taking occasional "digital detox" breaks ]'' to improve their concentration, performance, relationships, and overall health.<br /><br />  The following links provide resources for critical reflection on the uses of technology and its effects on learning, attention, productivity, and mental health.<br />  
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<div id="content_view" class="wiki" style="display: block">'''Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age'''<br />  A growing body of research is emerging to show the detrimental impacts of the saturation of cell phones, text messaging, and laptops on people's attention spans, learning abilities, social and communications skills, and overall mental health. These findings also have relevance for our thinking about broader social issues such as social cohesion, class and racial polarization, and social movements. <br/>
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The term [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technostress '''"Technostress"'''] refers to an increasingly common experience with negative health implications. People "feel compulsive about being connected and sharing constant updates, feel forced to respond to work-related information in real-time, and engage in almost habitual multi-tasking. ''They feel compelled to work faster because information flows faster, and have little time to spend on sustained thinking and creative analysis."''
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*See more at: [https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prefrontal-nudity/201708/dealing-technostress Dealing With Technostress: Beware of letting the machines take over] ''Psychology Today'' Alex Korb, PhD, August 22, 2017.  
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More and more people are ''[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/better/technology/9-ways-to-start-and-stick-to-a-digital-detox/ taking occasional "digital detox" breaks ]'' to improve their concentration, performance, relationships, and overall health.<br /><br />  The following links provide resources for critical reflection on the uses of technology and its effects on learning, attention, productivity, and mental health.<br />  
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==International==
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*[https://www.screenfree.org/ Global Campaign: Screen-Free Week]: '''Screen Free Week 2020 is May 4-10'''
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*'''WHO Guidelines on screen time:''' [https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/24-04-2019-to-grow-up-healthy-children-need-to-sit-less-and-play-more ''To grow up healthy, children need to sit less and play more'']
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=<span style="text-align: center">Selected References</span>=
 
=<span style="text-align: center">Selected References</span>=
 
<br /> '''Learning, Memory, and Productivity'''<br />  
 
<br /> '''Learning, Memory, and Productivity'''<br />  
 +
*[https://www.consciously-digital.com/ Consciously Digital]-- This website is a resource built by Anastasia Dedyukhina, author of the book ''Homo Distractus: Fight for your choices and identity in the digital age''.
 +
**[https://youtu.be/uNQujCwCu88 -''Could you live without a smartphone?''] (18 Min. TED Talk)
 
*[https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/25/skim-reading-new-normal-maryanne-wolf "Skim reading is the new normal, the effects on society are profound"] ''The Guardian'' Aug. 25, 2018.  
 
*[https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/25/skim-reading-new-normal-maryanne-wolf "Skim reading is the new normal, the effects on society are profound"] ''The Guardian'' Aug. 25, 2018.  
 
* "[https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/05/to-remember-a-lecture-better-take-notes-by-hand/361478/ To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand]" ''The Atlantic'' May 1, 2014</span>
 
* "[https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/05/to-remember-a-lecture-better-take-notes-by-hand/361478/ To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand]" ''The Atlantic'' May 1, 2014</span>
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* <span style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">[http://fortune.com/2016/02/03/nicholas-carr-internet/ "The Internet Makes Us Stupid, and Here's Why"] Kabir Sehgal Fortune Feb. 3, 2016 </span>
 
* <span style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">[http://fortune.com/2016/02/03/nicholas-carr-internet/ "The Internet Makes Us Stupid, and Here's Why"] Kabir Sehgal Fortune Feb. 3, 2016 </span>
 
* <span style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">[http://www.chronicle.com/article/Teach-Naked-Effort-Strips/47398/ When Computers Leave Classrooms, So Does Boredom], Chronical of Higher Education, July 20, 2009</span>
 
* <span style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">[http://www.chronicle.com/article/Teach-Naked-Effort-Strips/47398/ When Computers Leave Classrooms, So Does Boredom], Chronical of Higher Education, July 20, 2009</span>
* Sherry Terkel (2012) ''[http://geni.us/AloneTogether Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other]''
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* Sherry Turkle (2012) ''[http://geni.us/AloneTogether Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other]''
* Sherry Terkel (2015) ''[http://geni.us/ReclaimingConvo Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age]''
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* Sherry Turkle (2015) ''[http://geni.us/ReclaimingConvo Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age]''
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* ''[https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/600671/how-to-do-nothing-by-jenny-odell/ How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy''] By Jenny Odell, 2019, Penguin Random House.
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**''"Given that all of the issues that face us demand an understanding of complexity, interrelationship, and nuance, the ability to seek and understand context is nothing less than a collective survival skill."'' (p. 166)
  
<br /> '''Mental Health and Anxiety'''<br />  
+
 
• [https://student.unsw.edu.au/perfectionism| Resources for Addressing Perfectionism] (UNSW Sydney) <br/>
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=<span style="text-align: center">How is Technology and the Quest for Success Affecting Society?</span>=
• [https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/well/family/more-college-students-seem-to-be-majoring-in-perfectionism.html| More College Students Seem to Be Majoring in Perfectionism New York Times]<br/>
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<br /> ''Mental Health, Social Well-Being and Anxiety''<br />
• [http://www.campuscalm.com/college-perfectionism.html| Resources to address challenges of college perfectionism and psychological health]<br/>
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*[https://www.open.edu/openlearn/health-sports-psychology/mental-health/managing-stress-and-anxiety-the-digital-age-the-dark-side-technology Stress and anxiety in the digital age: The dark side of technology]
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*[https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/04/my-students-dont-know-how-to-have-a-conversation/360993/ My Students Don't Know How to Have a Conversation] - The Atlantic
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*[https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)30358-7/fulltext?dgcid=raven_jbs_etoc_email "Social Media, Screen Time, and Young People's Mental Health] ''The Lancet'' Editorial| Volume 393, ISSUE 10172, P611, February 16, 2019. ''"Without leadership from the health community, we risk not protecting—or worse, harming—our greatest asset: the future generation's mental health. As per the speed with which young people adopt social media, the evidence is also moving very quickly, and by the time frameworks are imposed, they might be obsolete to young users who have already left those particular digital platforms behind. Our understanding of the benefits, harms, and risks of our rapidly changing digital landscape is sorely lacking."''
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*[https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/31/how-facebook-robbed-us-of-our-sense-of-self  Death of the private self: how fifteen years of Facebook changed the human condition] ''The Guardian'' January 31, 2019. ''"Facebook age marks a break from traditional human behaviour in key aspect. In the past, we could regularly take a break from acting, and revert to some sense of our private, authentic selves. Now, as we constantly prod at our smartphones and feel the pull of their addictive apps, when does the performing ever stop?"''
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*''The Coddling of the American Mind'', by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, addresses the intersecting dynamics that have created a more polarized society, focusing on how changing parenting styles, university practices that reinforce "overparenting" tendencies, and changes in the larger technological and physical environments affect young people's well-being and their ability to confront the critical challenges of our day. [[https://www.thecoddling.com/ More resources at authors' website thecoddling.com].
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*[https://dcs.megaphone.fm/BUR9580458773.mp3?key=a35557f2fc90ec807b4b6443ee50c1bb Podcast: “A Threat to Democracy? What Social Media has Done to us” NPR On Point November 27, 2019.]  ''Are social networks driving us into partisan factions at the expense of the common good? We look at social media and democracy. Jonathan Haidt, Social Psychologist and co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind and Sherry Turkle, Social Psychologist at MIT, author of Reclaiming Conversation.''
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**“If you don’t teach your children how to be alone, you are only teaching them to be lonely.” That is, by failing to restrict children’s use of digital technology, parents are not enabling them to develop important lessons about themselves and skills at building rewarding friendships. (Dr. Sherry Turkle)
 +
*[https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/16/style/snowplow-parenting-scandal.html "Snowplow Parents: How Parents are Robbing their Children of Adulthood."] The 2019 scandal surrounding campus admissions reveals the implications of the broader problem of growing and related competition in our educational and labor markets. Young people have increasingly been socialized into constant high-stakes testing and competition to get into the best schools, in preparation for an increasingly competitive work environment. But are they better prepared for life as adults in a world that faces critically urgent challenges?
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• [https://student.unsw.edu.au/perfectionism Resources for Addressing Perfectionism] (UNSW Sydney) <br/>
 +
• [https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/well/family/more-college-students-seem-to-be-majoring-in-perfectionism.html More College Students Seem to Be Majoring in Perfectionism New York Times]<br/>
 +
• [http://www.campuscalm.com/college-perfectionism.html Resources to address challenges of college perfectionism and psychological health]<br/>
 
* <span style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif"> [http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/digital_technology_and_mental_health Digital Technology and Mental Health] Janet Olsen, Michigan State University Extension, January 25, 2016. Overusing digital technologies may affect areas like sleep, concentration, learning and relationship behaviors.  
 
* <span style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif"> [http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/digital_technology_and_mental_health Digital Technology and Mental Health] Janet Olsen, Michigan State University Extension, January 25, 2016. Overusing digital technologies may affect areas like sleep, concentration, learning and relationship behaviors.  
 
* <span style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/magazine/why-are-more-american-teenagers-than-ever-suffering-from-severe-anxiety.html Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?] New York Times Magazine October 15, 2017</span>
 
* <span style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/magazine/why-are-more-american-teenagers-than-ever-suffering-from-severe-anxiety.html Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?] New York Times Magazine October 15, 2017</span>
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* [https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/5377w5/why-social-media-can-never-fill-the-void-in-our-depressing-lives Why Social Media Can Never Fill the Void in Our Depressing Lives ]Vice.Com May 2, 2017. "Drawing from [https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/the-revolution-will-be-weird-and-eerie Mark Fisher's] ''Capitalist Realism'', Gilroy-Ware [author of ''Filling the Void: Emotion, Capitalism & Social Media''] argues that the impoverished life of the contemporary worker “ precarious, alienated, bored “ is exploited by social media, which promises emotional fulfilment in its endlessly regenerating timelines."
 
* [https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/5377w5/why-social-media-can-never-fill-the-void-in-our-depressing-lives Why Social Media Can Never Fill the Void in Our Depressing Lives ]Vice.Com May 2, 2017. "Drawing from [https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/the-revolution-will-be-weird-and-eerie Mark Fisher's] ''Capitalist Realism'', Gilroy-Ware [author of ''Filling the Void: Emotion, Capitalism & Social Media''] argues that the impoverished life of the contemporary worker “ precarious, alienated, bored “ is exploited by social media, which promises emotional fulfilment in its endlessly regenerating timelines."
  
<br /> '''Lessons on digital technology, privacy, corporate concentration, and social conflicts:'''<br />  
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<br /> '''Lessons on digital technology, privacy, corporate concentration, and democracy/ social conflicts:'''<br />  
 
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*[https://newlaborforum.cuny.edu/2019/01/22/surveillance-capitalism/ Surveillance Capitalism and the Challenge of Collective Action], by Shoshana Zuboff. New Labor Review Jan. 2019 (Excerpt from Zuboff's book,  ''The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power'' (New York: Public Affairs, 2019).
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**[https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06zxklj BBC Radio discussion ‘Start the Week’ featuring Zuboff and other guests]
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**[https://theintercept.com/2019/02/02/shoshana-zuboff-age-of-surveillance-capitalism/ Zuboff interview with ''The Intercept'']
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*[https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmcumeds/1791/1791.pdf Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Final Report UK House of Commons Investigation]-2019 report calls for greater regulation of industry: “Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised ‘dark adverts’ from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use everyday."
 
*[https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/11/facebook-google-public-health-democracy How Facebook and Google Threaten Public Health and Democracy] The Guardian November 11, 2017</span>
 
*[https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/11/facebook-google-public-health-democracy How Facebook and Google Threaten Public Health and Democracy] The Guardian November 11, 2017</span>
 
*[https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/09/facebook-sean-parker-vulnerability-brain-psychology Facebook executive acknowledges how tool manipulates human psychology ]The Guardian, November 7, 2017</span>
 
*[https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/09/facebook-sean-parker-vulnerability-brain-psychology Facebook executive acknowledges how tool manipulates human psychology ]The Guardian, November 7, 2017</span>
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*[http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/03/lets-stop-google-from-gobbling-up-our-schools/ Let's Stop Google from Gobbling Up Our Schools ]by [http://www.counterpunch.org/author/l3l3lclcl3l2ldl/ Jackie Smith - Alfredo Lopez ]June 3, 2016 </span>
 
*[http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/03/lets-stop-google-from-gobbling-up-our-schools/ Let's Stop Google from Gobbling Up Our Schools ]by [http://www.counterpunch.org/author/l3l3lclcl3l2ldl/ Jackie Smith - Alfredo Lopez ]June 3, 2016 </span>
 
* '''Race, Class and the Internet:''' [https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/an-emancipation-proclamation-for-the-digital-age/ An Emancipation Proclamation for the Digital Age], by [https://zcomm.org/author/alfredolopez/ Alfredo Lopez] and [https://zcomm.org/author/jackiesmith/ Jackie Smith ][http://thiscantbehappening.net/emancipationproclamation Source: This Can't Be Happening ]June 24, 2016</span>
 
* '''Race, Class and the Internet:''' [https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/an-emancipation-proclamation-for-the-digital-age/ An Emancipation Proclamation for the Digital Age], by [https://zcomm.org/author/alfredolopez/ Alfredo Lopez] and [https://zcomm.org/author/jackiesmith/ Jackie Smith ][http://thiscantbehappening.net/emancipationproclamation Source: This Can't Be Happening ]June 24, 2016</span>
*'''[https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsta.2018.0089 Constitutional Democracy and Technology in the Age of Artificial Intelligence], Paul Nemitz,'Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A' 376:2133. --This essay by the European Commission Directorate General for Justice and
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*[https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsta.2018.0089 Constitutional Democracy and Technology in the Age of Artificial Intelligence], Paul Nemitz,'Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A' 376:2133. --This essay by the European Commission Directorate General for Justice and Consumers, highlights the dangers of corporate concentration for democracy, human rights and the rule of law.  
Consumers, highlights the dangers of corporate concentration for democracy, human rights and the rule of law.  
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*[https://www.vanderbilt.edu/university-press/book/9780826515056 ''Professional Identity Crisis: Race, Class, Gender, and Success at Professional Schools''] by Carrie Yang Costello.
 +
 
 +
<br /> '''Professional Considerations and Interventions'''<br />
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[https://onefacultyoneresistance.org/privatization/?link_id=1&can_id=d4f2af10cb49d6f0ba84644aef07a75f&source=email-stand-up-for-students-stand-up-to-privatization-4&email_referrer=email_490838&email_subject=stand-up-for-students-stand-up-to-privatization AAUP’s Education Not Privatization toolkit from our One Faculty, One Resistance site]
  
<u>DRAFT SYLLABUS CONTENT</u>'''<br /> Mainstream communications including communication fostered at universities send few signals to students about the need to be more critical and selective in how one uses technology. We can play important roles as teachers to invite students to think critically about how technology impacts both their own practices and learning abilities and how it shapes broader social trends and problems. Introducing limitations in your classroom is a way to model such practices for students and it can encourage them to become more effective learners and sociologists. We should note that many students will protest such restrictions, since they are rarely required to disconnect from their devices. But holding firm to technology limitations can teach important lessons and life skills that many students in your classroom will (silently) appreciate.''<br /> <br /> '''<u>Technology Policies*</u>Drawing from research on the detrimental impacts of technology on education and learning, I have adopted the following technology policies:''No assignments will be accepted via e-mail, and my preferred method of communication is face to face or by office phone. Please use opportunities after class or in office hours to discuss your work in the course. <u>Do not use laptops or text messaging devices in class, and silence your cell phones and place them out of your sight</u>.''<br /> <br /> '''The Problem of Digital Technology and Divided Attention--'''In recent years the saturation of cell phones, text messaging, and laptops, combined with the broad availability of wireless in classrooms, has produced something called the problem of divided attention. A [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/25/business/25multi.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1218826802-w3gzL8BvSV3EZY9YekbeXg March 25, 2008 article in the New York Times]summarized recent studies of productivity in business settings. Researchers found that after responding to email or text messages, it took people ''more than 15 minutes to re-focus on the "serious mental tasks"they had been performing before the interruption''. Other research has shown that when people attempt to perform two tasks at once (e.g., following what's happening in class while checking text messages), the brain literally cannot do it. The brain has got to give up on one of the tasks in order to effectively accomplish the other. Hidden behind all the hype about multi-tasking, then, is this sad truth: ''it makes you slower and dumber''. For this reason alone you should seek to avoid the problem of divided attention when you are in class. But there's another reason, too: technology often causes us to lose our senses when it comes to norms of polite behavior and, as a result, ''perfectly nice people become unbelievably rude and insulting''. For both these reasons, then, turn off your cell phones or set them on silent mode when you come to class, and refrain from using laptops and any other electronic devices during class. *''Source'': [http://learnercentered.wordpress.com/2008/08/15/dont-text-in-class-and-heres-why/ Dr. Cara Finnegan]. (See also work by <u>Sherry Turkle- ''Reclaiming Conversation in a Digital Age)</u></div>
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<br/>
 +
<br/>
 +
<u>DRAFT SYLLABUS CONTENT</u><br />  
 +
Mainstream communications including communication fostered at universities send few signals to students about the need to be more critical and selective in how one uses technology. We can play important roles as teachers to invite students to think critically about how technology impacts both their own practices and learning abilities and how it shapes broader social trends and problems. Introducing limitations in your classroom is a way to model such practices for students and it can encourage them to become more effective learners and sociologists. We should note that many students will protest such restrictions, since they are rarely required to disconnect from their devices. But holding firm to technology limitations can teach important lessons and life skills that many students in your classroom will (silently) appreciate.<br /> <br /> '''<u>Technology Policies*'''</u>Drawing from research on the detrimental impacts of technology on education and learning, I have adopted the following technology policies:''No assignments will be accepted via e-mail, and my preferred method of communication is face to face or by office phone. Please use opportunities after class or in office hours to discuss your work in the course. <u>Do not use laptops or text messaging devices in class, and silence your cell phones and place them out of your sight</u>.<br /> <br /> '''The Problem of Digital Technology and Divided Attention--'''In recent years the saturation of cell phones, text messaging, and laptops, combined with the broad availability of wireless in classrooms, has produced something called the problem of divided attention. A [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/25/business/25multi.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1218826802-w3gzL8BvSV3EZY9YekbeXg March 25, 2008 article in the New York Times]summarized recent studies of productivity in business settings. Researchers found that after responding to email or text messages, it took people more than 15 minutes to re-focus on the "serious mental tasks" they had been performing before the interruption. Other research has shown that when people attempt to perform two tasks at once (e.g., following what's happening in class while checking text messages), the brain literally cannot do it. The brain has got to give up on one of the tasks in order to effectively accomplish the other. Hidden behind all the hype about multi-tasking, then, is this sad truth: "it makes you slower and dumber." For this reason alone you should seek to avoid the problem of divided attention when you are in class. But there's another reason, too: technology often causes us to lose our senses when it comes to norms of polite behavior and, as a result, "perfectly nice people become unbelievably rude and insulting." For both these reasons, then, turn off your cell phones or set them on silent mode when you come to class, and refrain from using laptops and any other electronic devices during class. *''Source'': [http://learnercentered.wordpress.com/2008/08/15/dont-text-in-class-and-heres-why/ Dr. Cara Finnegan]. (See also work by <u>Sherry Turkle- ''Reclaiming Conversation in a Digital Age)</u></div>

Revision as of 14:09, 6 January 2020

Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age
A growing body of research is emerging to show the detrimental impacts of the saturation of cell phones, text messaging, and laptops on people's attention spans, learning abilities, social and communications skills, and overall mental health. These findings also have relevance for our thinking about broader social issues such as social cohesion, class and racial polarization, and social movements.

The term "Technostress" refers to an increasingly common experience with negative health implications. People "feel compulsive about being connected and sharing constant updates, feel forced to respond to work-related information in real-time, and engage in almost habitual multi-tasking. They feel compelled to work faster because information flows faster, and have little time to spend on sustained thinking and creative analysis."


More and more people are taking occasional "digital detox" breaks to improve their concentration, performance, relationships, and overall health.

The following links provide resources for critical reflection on the uses of technology and its effects on learning, attention, productivity, and mental health.

International


Selected References


Learning, Memory, and Productivity


How is Technology and the Quest for Success Affecting Society?


Mental Health, Social Well-Being and Anxiety

  • Stress and anxiety in the digital age: The dark side of technology
  • My Students Don't Know How to Have a Conversation - The Atlantic
  • "Social Media, Screen Time, and Young People's Mental Health The Lancet Editorial| Volume 393, ISSUE 10172, P611, February 16, 2019. "Without leadership from the health community, we risk not protecting—or worse, harming—our greatest asset: the future generation's mental health. As per the speed with which young people adopt social media, the evidence is also moving very quickly, and by the time frameworks are imposed, they might be obsolete to young users who have already left those particular digital platforms behind. Our understanding of the benefits, harms, and risks of our rapidly changing digital landscape is sorely lacking."
  • Death of the private self: how fifteen years of Facebook changed the human condition The Guardian January 31, 2019. "Facebook age marks a break from traditional human behaviour in key aspect. In the past, we could regularly take a break from acting, and revert to some sense of our private, authentic selves. Now, as we constantly prod at our smartphones and feel the pull of their addictive apps, when does the performing ever stop?"
  • The Coddling of the American Mind, by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, addresses the intersecting dynamics that have created a more polarized society, focusing on how changing parenting styles, university practices that reinforce "overparenting" tendencies, and changes in the larger technological and physical environments affect young people's well-being and their ability to confront the critical challenges of our day. [More resources at authors' website thecoddling.com.
  • Podcast: “A Threat to Democracy? What Social Media has Done to us” NPR On Point November 27, 2019. Are social networks driving us into partisan factions at the expense of the common good? We look at social media and democracy. Jonathan Haidt, Social Psychologist and co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind and Sherry Turkle, Social Psychologist at MIT, author of Reclaiming Conversation.
    • “If you don’t teach your children how to be alone, you are only teaching them to be lonely.” That is, by failing to restrict children’s use of digital technology, parents are not enabling them to develop important lessons about themselves and skills at building rewarding friendships. (Dr. Sherry Turkle)
  • "Snowplow Parents: How Parents are Robbing their Children of Adulthood." The 2019 scandal surrounding campus admissions reveals the implications of the broader problem of growing and related competition in our educational and labor markets. Young people have increasingly been socialized into constant high-stakes testing and competition to get into the best schools, in preparation for an increasingly competitive work environment. But are they better prepared for life as adults in a world that faces critically urgent challenges?

Resources for Addressing Perfectionism (UNSW Sydney)
More College Students Seem to Be Majoring in Perfectionism New York Times
Resources to address challenges of college perfectionism and psychological health


Lessons on digital technology, privacy, corporate concentration, and democracy/ social conflicts:


Professional Considerations and Interventions
AAUP’s Education Not Privatization toolkit from our One Faculty, One Resistance site



DRAFT SYLLABUS CONTENT

Mainstream communications including communication fostered at universities send few signals to students about the need to be more critical and selective in how one uses technology. We can play important roles as teachers to invite students to think critically about how technology impacts both their own practices and learning abilities and how it shapes broader social trends and problems. Introducing limitations in your classroom is a way to model such practices for students and it can encourage them to become more effective learners and sociologists. We should note that many students will protest such restrictions, since they are rarely required to disconnect from their devices. But holding firm to technology limitations can teach important lessons and life skills that many students in your classroom will (silently) appreciate.

Technology Policies*Drawing from research on the detrimental impacts of technology on education and learning, I have adopted the following technology policies:No assignments will be accepted via e-mail, and my preferred method of communication is face to face or by office phone. Please use opportunities after class or in office hours to discuss your work in the course. Do not use laptops or text messaging devices in class, and silence your cell phones and place them out of your sight.

The Problem of Digital Technology and Divided Attention--In recent years the saturation of cell phones, text messaging, and laptops, combined with the broad availability of wireless in classrooms, has produced something called the problem of divided attention. A March 25, 2008 article in the New York Timessummarized recent studies of productivity in business settings. Researchers found that after responding to email or text messages, it took people more than 15 minutes to re-focus on the "serious mental tasks" they had been performing before the interruption. Other research has shown that when people attempt to perform two tasks at once (e.g., following what's happening in class while checking text messages), the brain literally cannot do it. The brain has got to give up on one of the tasks in order to effectively accomplish the other. Hidden behind all the hype about multi-tasking, then, is this sad truth: "it makes you slower and dumber." For this reason alone you should seek to avoid the problem of divided attention when you are in class. But there's another reason, too: technology often causes us to lose our senses when it comes to norms of polite behavior and, as a result, "perfectly nice people become unbelievably rude and insulting." For both these reasons, then, turn off your cell phones or set them on silent mode when you come to class, and refrain from using laptops and any other electronic devices during class. *
Source: Dr. Cara Finnegan. (See also work by Sherry Turkle- Reclaiming Conversation in a Digital Age)