The author of the article is one Sherry Turkle who is a professional author when it comes to social sciences. The title of the article is titled 'educational attentive disarray' and is concerned with the attention that students pay in class. society of today is designed to operate without paying attention to one thing for a significant amount of time. One of the reasons for this is the use of smartphones and social networks which are designed to grab and change the attention of the individual at any instance. For instance, one might want to reply to a text message while walking or even while in class. In the process of replying to the message, they could lose minutes of attention in whatever they were doing. Today, there is a need for constant connection even when one is not there physically. To some individuals, spending up to 2 minutes without checking their phones is impossible regardless of where they are and whatever they are doing. Although technology in classes is supposed to make classes more convenient, today it works towards grabbing the attention of these students when they should not.
As such, she is an authority in her own right. She understands the subject and thus can talk about it like a professional should. What is more, the individuals are in such a state that they even interact better with these social checks. When, for instance, an individual has checked their phone in class, they will go on to become relaxed and go on to carry out a conversation that is more cohesive. However, in general, the attention deficit that is present today is significantly negative (Fried, 907) . For one, the act of multitasking is not beneficial, and one does not move as fast as they think they are. Although a person looks at their phone for a minute or two, their brain takes time to move back to the class. What is more, their performance on the actual task goes on to degrade and is not at optimum levels.
The feeling of a multitasker doing better mostly comes to be because of a neurochemical high. Because of this slight high, one thinks that they are doing better while instead, they are performing in a downward trajectory. Students today can text without looking at their phones. However, while they can do this effectively, it does not mean that their staring at the boards mean they actually see and understand what is going on (Turkle, 179). On the contrary, they are in between the activities, which means they are sub-performing in both. However, today, multitasking is the norm as nine out of ten students agree to indulge during class. This means that only a student in every ten pays enough attention to actually learn in class.
Although some schools have put up policies restricting texting in class, they have not been effective. Many of the students find a way to ignore the policy either claiming that they have not seen it or trying to text out of sight. However, there are claims that this generation is not the only one that has been battling with focus and the lack of attention (Turkle, 180). On the contrary, the previous generation manifested their boredom through the passing of notes or generally zoning out. As such, it would not be accurate to say that that generation had less focus than the current one. In that case, the use of facebook or text messages only serves to represent the current generation's source of distraction.
The more a student is distracted, the more likely he is to bring about less concentration in class. Even those who are self-righteous can decide to become angry at others who decide to indulge in their own distractions. Otherwise, a student seeing another shopping for shoes might have the desire to repeat the same, and thus he loses his focus (Turkle, 182). In some instances, technology does not serve the purpose that it was designed to. For instance, although an iPad can help a student capture and save notes in a convenient manner in a class, it might end up distracting them with its various notifications. Because of the importance of these gadgets in today's lives, it might not make sense to ban them completely.
As a matter-of-fact, the constant use of these items by the students should not be described as an addiction. The reason is that that view will be able to inflate the image of this focus into a giant that cannot be defeated, which is not the truth. It is just the culture of having to indulge every minute that should be changed (Fried, 910). Just like in the case of a child, an adult should be able to understand that it is futile to concentrate while using a digital gadget. When he has to use the gadget, he should take the necessary precautions to ensure that his attention is not distracted in the process.
There is, however, another alternative that can make it easier for the students to focus entirely on the class. Since multitasking comes because of the focus on different elements at once, theoretically, it should be possible for the technology to focus on one subject. One of the ways through which technology tries to focus the attention of an individual to one thing is known as google Jockeying. Google jockeying is a process through which an individual's gadget listens in on what the student is learning and optimizes all of its technology towards that lesson. The idea is not to provide complementary ones. Google jockeying is also designed to try and stimulate the student whenever a moment of boredom occurs while he is still in class.
There are various ways through which a person can be able to unitask, which is the opposite of multitasking. One of the ways is through consciously ignoring machines during activities such as classes. Most of the students use machines to take notes, and it is in the process that they are distracted (Turkle, 185). However, when they are not using machines, they can be able to increasingly focus on the class even despite zoning out and the like. Although the use of these technologies is promoted as more convenient, it is not. On the contrary, it is tough and only goes on to push against the note-taking abilities of the individual. What is more, taking notes using hands helps an individual develop important abilities within themselves, including listening and organization skills.
Students can also collaborate and perform in groups in class for more attention and less boredom. Sometimes it is not that the lesson is boring but just that the students are from a different school of thought. Because of that, there could be a disconnection causing these students to lose attention in class. However, with groups, it is possible for them to regurgitate the lesson in a manner that they can understand in their own terms. Since the lesson will be in their terms, they will pay more attention and will most likely learn a lot from that interaction. They will also feel the connection that they crave and get using social media and mobile phones in class.
Today, attention appears to be lacking in different classes thanks to technological advances. The use of laptops and ipads in class is supposed to help the student to capture the information they need in a convenient manner. However, this often does not work thanks to different notifications and the desire to stay connected to the real world. Even when there might not be any message going, the desire to check on the social networks could be distraction enough for any student in class. An environment of unitasking is necessary at times as it helps the student focus on the class and gets to learn even when they feel bored. Activities such as google jockeying where the phone listens in on what is being taught and all the notifications are optimized towards that. Unitasking can work through the deliberate disregard of technology in that case and collaboration with other students.
Fried, Carrie B. "In-class laptop use and its effects on student learning." Computers & Education 50.3 (2008): 906-914.
Turkle, Sherry. "Education: Attentional Disarray." Learning Power, 2015, pp. 178-193., Accessed 25 Sept. 2019.
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