6 Tabs Open and I Still Managed to Finish My Blog!

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.

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4 Responses to 6 Tabs Open and I Still Managed to Finish My Blog!

  1. scottgardiner12 says:

    I agree that we’ve become “zombified” to an extent. I’m guilty of being one of those people that you alluded to that is often on their phone in social settings. It’s not like I’m on it for an extended period of time but I do check it regularly because I have to attempt to be “social” with everyone at once rather than the people I’m actually spending time with. Turns out, even when I’m out with friends, I’m attempting to “multitask”!

    I also like your point that multitasking isn’t necessarily a recent phenomenon – people have been quite successful at multitasking for years, it has just taken on a different look.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. courosa says:

    As a father of young children, I also enjoy seeing you weekly with a child on your lap. Part of me wants to give thanks for the ability to multitask.

    However, I would like to point you to the literature that refutes that multitasking is actually a thing. In fact, Linda Stone’s work speaks to the idea of task-switching (vs. multitasking) and the concept of continuous partial attention. Ultimately, the implications for school, parenting, and life in general mean that we rarely give anything our full attention these days, and that may not be good for the task or person (literally) in hand. See: https://lindastone.net/qa/continuous-partial-attention/

    Also, see a short clip at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YCSBEhPVA0

    Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alec! I found the quote from Linda Stone’s article, “We are so accessible, we’re inaccessible.” resonated with me heavily. It really got me thinking about the relationships I have with the different people in my life, family, friends and students. I want, personally, to be more accessible to those around me and have found that my stress levels have gone down due to actively trying to manage the amount of work I put on my plate at one time. I love a number of different productivity suites that the online world has to offer, but really have to work at managing the amount I am taking on at one time.
      I also loved at the end of the article how she mentions putting the device away for meals. It has become important to my family that we have active, human, conversations when we break bread. Our devices are put away and silenced, it’s become one of my favorite times of day! Balance is key and we easily overwhelm ourselves with the amount of work we try to do at one time!
      Thanks for the response!


  3. Adam,
    Thanks for highlighting the fact that, “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.” My only teaching experience has been educating students in this type of socio-economic status and I feel like it really is important for educators to be aware that many of our students don’t have access to technology like we assume they might. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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