In the video Single-tasking Is the New Multitasking (posted below), James Hamblin says at one point, “I don’t doubt that you’re probably doing something else while you’re watching this.” I was guilty of this assumption as I had picked up my iPhone and went into my NHL fantasy league to check the availability of goaltender Corey Crawford while listening…At this point, I came to the realization that we have become so accustomed to over stimulating our brain and getting multiple things done at once in a lackadaisical fashion that we are slowly losing the ability to maintain focus on doing a great job on one task. I blame all tablet companies for creating these genius money making devices that grant us the ability to multitask all of the time.
I have a difficult time hanging out with a number of my friends. I find that as I am talking with them they are on there phone doing something else and I then feel like I have become almost a nuisance to them, I am not important enough for their full attention, their newest app or the people they are “snapping”, texting or messaging is much more important than the conversation they are currently having with me. Our society is becoming almost zombified due to the complete ability everyone has garnered as they have the ability to do most tasks from their phone.
All that being said I believe that the internet has become a greater productivity tool. It gives us access to resources we normally would not have at our disposal. As teachers we can certainly be more productive with the internet especially with tools that our presenters last week had brought up such as Google Docs, Classroom, Chrome, etc.. Moving toward the goal of a paperless classroom is quickly becoming a reality. But we also need to be aware of some of the roadblocks that we may encounter in education.
Not all students have equitable opportunities to finish online work outside of school. A socio-economic background can be a hurdle that educators need to be aware of and become flexible with. Whether that looks like one more work period with tech, letting students stay in at recess, come early or stay later to utilize these great tools. Melanie makes a great point about using these tools, stating that “…when we allow our access to technology to distract us from important tasks, we are also allowing it to hinder our productivity.” We also need to establish online literacy for all students as well as positive digital citizenship.
There are also students that have attendance issues throughout divisions and it has always been a struggle to keep them up to date on their school work and what is happening in class. This is another area in which the importance of technology can shine through and keep those students up to date with everything that they have missed, In the article entitled, What is a Productivity Suite in Computers?, the point for online based programs is stated, “Online productivity suites are free to access on multiple platforms and enable you to conduct business from a remote location without having to access your company’s computer network or your office computer.” If we start utilizing these types of programs, we will be able to reach and educate those students who are having issues getting to school regularly.
We have always had distractions throughout our lives that have made us better at managing a couple different tasks at one time. When I was in school I would constantly do homework while watching a movie or listening to the latest Blink-182 album. More recently I have been doing dishes while listening to a podcast while holding a baby and entertaining my other two sons. Multi-tasking was here just in different forms, it just seems to be evolving within technology and creating a cholesterol for work efficiency in our current day and age.
I would go as far as to ask, is there such a thing as multitasking? …Perhaps a topic for a future blog. Self-control is mandatory if you have access to the internet and we need to start modelling and teaching efficient working habits for our student population.