Cherie’s Supper Club Speech
Final CD Supper Club Jan16 Digital Distractions & Digital Overload Final
1. Digital Distractions & Digital Overload: Maybe Nicholas Carr (The Shallows) was right! Supper Club Speech--Jan. 19th 2016 Cherie Dargan
2. Overview • Watch a brief interview with Nicholas Carr, author of the best seller, The Shallows • Consider evidence of digital distractions and digital overload -- infographics • Discuss several compelling quotes from the book The Shallows • Share experiences working with students in face to face and online classes struggling to focus • Suggest a prescription for all of us wanting to learn how to focus in the midst of distraction
3. The Problem: I want MORE I’m writing a weekly blog and really enjoying it. ….I love doing research online with my PC, iPad, or iPhone, but find myself searching for more information even when I think I have enough. There is a hunger, a desire, even a lust for MORE information, and more visually based information—photos, videos, and infographics. Turns out, I’m not alone.
4. We’re spending 11 hours a day on media, including our various devices with screens! http://www.geekwire.com/2015/nielsen- reports-that-the-average-american-adult- spends-11-hours-per-day-on-gadgets/ Nielsen reports on media usage: chart by Statista
5. Mobile Devices give us Access to the Web, 24/7
6. Look at how much more we can do online! HCC, Spring 2012 -- iPad pilot. Apps, Social Media, Games, HCC websites. London Internet Cafe, March 1999—Mike checks his email.
7. We have too much to do! (email, files, pics, posts, texts) We are living in the age of digital overload—we get too many texts, email messages, social media posts, tweets, pins, & alerts to read and respond to in any given day. We are filling up our hard drives. We can't keep up with the flow of information, entertainment, news, and cat videos. We don’t want to miss out on anything!
8. The Data Explosion (2014) (Infographic) http://aci.info/2014/07/12/the-data-explosion-in-2014-minute-by-minute-infographic/ Susan Gunelius. “Data Never Sleeps. The Data Explosion in 2014, Minute by Minute – Infographic.” JULY 12, 2014 According to this article, every minute: · Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content. · Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times. · Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos. · YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video content. · Apple users download nearly 50,000 apps. · Email users send over 200 million messages. · Amazon generates over $80,000 in online sales.
9. Infographic on the Brain & What it Wants! http://neomam.com/interactive/13reasons/ “13 Reasons The Brain Craves Infographics” (The animated version: a timer at the bottom tells you how long you have been reading the infographic). What is an Infographic? A visual packed with facts.
10. A few facts from “13 Reasons” 1) The use of visualized information has increased · 400% in literature since 1990 and 9900% on the internet since 2007. 142% in newspapers between 1985 and 1994 2) We are visually wired: Almost 50% of your brain is involved in visual processing and 70% of your sensory receptors are in your eyes 3) Infographics help because we suffer from information overload We get 5 times the information as we did in 1986 We get 34 gigabytes of information (or 100,500 words) on an average day. On average, we only read 28% of words per visit
11. “13 Reasons Your Brain Craves Infographics”
12. The Interview with Nicholas Carr https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKaWJ72x1rI “What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.” Published on May 6, 2013. Interview with Nicholas Carr, the author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.
13. Follow up to the video I use this video with my Composition students and it helps them to understand what is happening in their brains when they go online. If you are interested, you can check out the companion video that explains some of the “hidden gems” in the video. I’ll send out the link to the presentation on Google Docs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Yf_-5VHiR0 -- Hidden Gems in, "What the Internet is Doing to our Brains"
14. Nicholas Carr’s website http://www.nicholascarr.com/
15. True Confessions: Not a Fan at first! When the book The Shallows first came out, I gave it a quick look and thought it was rather pessimistic, and put it aside. I was looking for a highly readable text for my students, and didn’t think this was it! As one of my favorite professors, Dr. Bob from Buena Vista would say, there aren’t many pictures and lots of big words. Lately, I’ve been taking another look…..
16. Why is this digital distraction happening? The net is changing how we respond to information as well as how people are formatting information online (little chunks of info, lots of visuals) We aren’t reading as much and the way we read is changing (scanning and skimming) Carr argues that our brains are being rewired and that we are constantly seeing new information. We are also being OVERLOADED with information!
17. Carr: Switch from Reading to Power Browsing Most Web pages are viewed for less than 20 seconds. The switch from reading to power-browsing is happening very quickly and it represents a deeper change in our thinking. The digital environment encourages people to explore broadly but at a superficial level. Patience with reading long documents is decreasing. There is a compelling urge to skip ahead. Skimming is becoming the dominant mode of reading. Of course there are compensations, positive aspects of this. Every medium develops some cognitive skills at the expense of others. (pages 135-139)
18. Carr: The Net is an interruption system "The Net is, by design, an interruption system, a machine geared for dividing attention." (131) "Frequent interruptions scatter our thoughts, weaken our memory, and make us tense and anxious." (132) "The near-continuous stream of new information pumped out by the Web also plays to our natural tendency to 'vastly overvalue what happens to us right now….'" (134)
19. The map, the clock and the book Without going into too many details, Carr argues that humans have been changed by these three inventions--or tools of the mind, as he calls them. Maps gave us a sense of where we are and where we want to go: they helped us to make sense of the world Clocks gave us a way to measure time but also changed the way we saw things, as people began to divide time up into chunks, with certain times reserved for certain activities (Chapter 3) The Clock and map also gave us new metaphors and expanded language and thought. Books came along later and brought more changes (chapter 4).
20. Books, Gutenberg & literacy Carr discusses the development of writing, and its significance, as well as the role of Gutenberg’s printing press in chapter 4. He describes it as one of the most important inventions in history (69). Francis Bacon wrote that only the inventions of gunpowder and the compass had impacted human affairs as much. •The number of books produced in the 50 years after Gutenberg’s invention equaled the number produced by scribes during the previous 1000 years (69) •It became possible to buy books, to have libraries, and literacy was encouraged. •By the end of the 15th century, more than 250 towns had a printing press and produced over 12 million books.
21. Carr: the screen VS. the book "After 550 years, the printing press and its products are being pushed from the center of our intellectual life to its edges." "The world of the screen…is a very different place from the world of the page. A new intellectual ethic is taking hold. The pathways in our brains are once again being rerouted." (77)
22. Distracted & Overloaded!
23. Signs of Digital Overload * · My drop box alerts me that it is full and will not sync until I remove some files. · My sister calls because she can no longer upload new pictures to her computer: I talk her through the steps and we rediscover she has filled up her hard drive with pictures and videos. · Apple offers to switch my iCloud account to double the storage for about the same amount of money. I did it on the spot and watched my storage space DOUBLE instantly. (Who says you can’t buy happiness?) · My students tease me whenever I bring up my Hawkeye Email-- you have a thousand unread messages??!! Yes, I subscribe to a lot of email newsletters! (from my Blog Post for Nov. 20 -- Digital Overload)
24. The Net is subsuming our other technologies It is "becoming our typewriter and our printing press, our map and our clock, our calculator and our telephone, our post office and our library, our radio and our TV." (83) We never really have to disconnect. TV watching has not declined but we are devoting much less time to reading words printed on paper. The old technologies become a cultural dead end. The new technologies govern production and consumption, guide people's behavior and shape their perceptions. (89) Changes in the form change how we use, experience and understand the content. (from The Shallows)
25. The Book VS. The Web "Research continues to show that people who read linear text comprehend more, remember more, and learn more than those who read text peppered with links." (127) Ironically, Geeky Grandma loves her Kindle and ebooks, while the majority of my students say they prefer print books but do not seem to “read” them very carefully.
26. An Aha moment! My students stare down at their smartphones--to check the time, to check for a new text, to check their scores on the Canvas app (our online CMS), or to check for an email that I just mentioned sending to their class. Some read an ebook and many have used the navigation on their phone to get to a new destination. They don’t tote around big laptops for the most part: the smartphone is their clock, map, and book.
27. Technology’s impact on Higher Ed (Go Web) What have we seen in the past 20 years? From chalk boards to smart boards, and internet access in classroom From Books to eBooks, plus YouTube Videos, and online course management systems for all classes, whether online or F2F Consolidation of book publishers who are investing heavily in online tools Teachers report attendance and final grades online Email and other communication tools encourage communication with students, who would rather text, call or email than show up at the office Most teachers give some or all of their tests online, and create drop boxes for assignments which are graded online, so tie into an online gradebook
28. Technology and Workload I found a wonderful quote by Richard Beasley on a blog post about Digital Overload: “If you are not careful, technology can actually increase your workload rather than increase your productivity.” This was my experience this past fall, when we switched to a new Course Management system. I had no idea how much time it would take to recreate five websites & then grade almost all online.
29. Do the math...1100 hours on Canvas, Fall 15 I spend many hours online during my workday, using Canvas, our new Course management System to teach both Face to face and online classes. I use Canvas for tests and worksheets, collect work with drop boxes, post announcements, and have all of my handouts organized in five separate webspaces, one for each class. By Finals in December, I had spent approximately 1100 hours on Canvas. That works out to 61 hours a week for 18 weeks (from the first week of August, rebuilding those websites through Finals, grading final essays and exams, and recording final scores). That is 8.7 hours a day, 7 days a week. I also spent time IN class!
30. Reward? Tendonitis in my Shoulder https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000438.htm
31. Other Effects: Stress, Exhaustion The effects of digital overload leave us exhausted and overwhelmed. They distract us, delay us, and take our time and energy. Like the ancient Greek God who pushed a rock up the mountain only to have it roll back down, we end the day sometimes feeling triumph that we’ve checked certain tasks off the list, answered email, graded, responded to students, recorded points, tweeted, texted, posted responses to a status update done early in the day—and just as we go to turn away from our PC or laptop or iPad or Smartphone, we realize there are new messages, new tweets, new texts, and all of our progress seems undone. And, we are the grown-ups! What is it doing to our young people?
32. Social Media: an “ugly, evil distraction” Last semester I had several startling conversations with a handful of students who confessed they are struggling with college, having a hard time paying attention in class, and not able to focus on their homework for long due to digital distraction. A number of my Composition students wrote about it in their essays. One girl called her addiction to social media an “ugly, evil distraction” that led to her flunking a class in high school—and not being able to participate in a sport she loved. That was her wakeup call.
33. Digital distractions in teens given laptops 1:1 The first girl confessed to me that her High School had been early adopters of the One to One program in 2010—giving every student and teacher a shiny new laptop. She had been thrilled and quickly found herself on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, where she had organized ideas for decorating rooms; unfortunately, her homework was always last on the list. Her school rushed into the project without a lot of planning, and teachers were not prepared or trained. Classes were chaotic in the early days, with too much time for students to spend on social media, ignoring assignments. She told me, “my brain was elsewhere...taking pictures, posting stupid tweets, and reblogging pictures.”
34. Not just an isolated case…. I heard variations of this story half a dozen times more and my concerns grew. Several students used almost the same words to describe the battle in their minds for getting organized, getting homework done, and staying off social media and/or their phones in class and later at home, while they were supposedly studying. Then, I read a report on CNN that freaked me out!
35. Being 13 -- Special CNN Report (Oct. 2015) CNN’s Anderson Cooper did a special report on “Being 13: Inside the world of Teens” (Hadad), and found that many of these kids check social media 100 and even 200 times a day. Teens don’t post that often; instead, they lurk to see if others liked their postings, or to see if anyone is saying mean things about them. Likes are a way to measure popularity. They also take LOTS of selfies--100 or more, to get that perfect picture. The study looked at 200 teens and included an analysis of 150,000 posts and messages by two trained psychologists. According to CNN’s Hadad, “The level of profanity, explicit sexual language and references to drug use surprised the experts, considering the study's subjects were only in eighth grade.”
36. Competing for attention
37. What can you teach in 15 minutes? If teens are checking their social media and texts 100 times a day, let’s narrow that down into 15 hours, from 7 am to 10 pm, and that means that every 15 minutes, teens are on their phones checking for updates or uploading selfies. If they are checking 200 times a day, that goes down to every 7 minutes. What can you accomplish in 7 minutes between checking for updates on social media? How about in 15 minutes? How do we teach children to problem solve, think critically, or reflect in 7 minutes? How do they learn complex Math and Science concepts and master formulas in 7 minutes?
38. What’s going on? Being 13 Then & Now Think about what it was like when you were 13, sitting in an 8th grade class: maybe you were lucky and had at least one friend in there. You might write and pass a note, but you were expected to have the book open, be taking notes or working on math problems or completing a worksheet over something you read for class. If caught, your note might be read by the teacher—or you might be asked to read it out loud. NOW, think about a classroom FULL of 13 year olds all with smartphones: for one thing, it would be noisy with lots of little alerts that new tweets, posts, and text messages were waiting for attention. How does the teacher compete for their attention? Or should she just sit back and check her own smartphone? According to the National Education Association, many schools are lifting bans on the use of cellphones in the classroom (Kinjo) and the Pew Reports did not seem to indicate that phones were staying in backpacks, purses and pockets during class.
39. What is ahead for these 13 year olds? My student wrote, “ I hope that students, teachers, parents, and members of communities can see the problem that is becoming an epidemic, and they will do something to fix it for themselves, their children, and their future.” She hopes to become a teacher herself and worries that her students will be giving their attention to their devices instead of her. How are we going to deal with these students and their mobile devices? How successful are they going to be in their educations and careers, much less their relationships? I’m retiring so I don’t have to look forward to teaching these students: but I already see digital distraction and digital overload in my college students.
40. My college students: Hypervigilant & Impatient Attending to every audible alert or vibration of their smartphones is destroying their focus, and eroding their ability to go more than a few minutes without checking their phones for a new text, tweet, photo, or status update. As noted earlier, the mere mention of grading an assignment sends them to their phones to check grades; furthermore, there is an impatience on the part of students to have work graded, and I sometimes have to say, “Look—this isn’t the drive through window at McDonalds! It takes time.”
41. Is a lack of focus the new normal? As I near the end of my teaching career, I wonder what is down the road for Education at all levels. Students need the ability to focus on a piece of text in order to read, analyze and write about it; they need to concentrate in order to solve mathematical problems, do their science labs and write up the results, and listen to short lectures and then engage in discussion. Digital distraction and digital overload make those things difficult, if not impossible.
42. What needs to happen? Some Proposals…. • Read Carr’s books. (The Shallows, 2010 and The Glass Cage, 2014) • Make the Jitterbug the phone for ten year olds! (Why do ten year olds need phones? Some phones are now marketed to SIX year olds!) • Educate parents, teachers, school boards, and administrators: BAN STUDENTS from having phones in the classroom, since it leads to continual use of them to the expense of focus and attention. If they aren’t checking them every 15 minutes or taking selfies, maybe they can focus and learn!
43. Some Proposals, cont. • Make sure students are ready for 1 to 1 programs as well as the teachers, infrastructure, and curriculum. • Educate parents about digital devices and young children: limit the time spent on the devices. • Teach students how to unplug from technology in order to reflect, read critically, and focus. • Some students (and adults) need serious intervention and some digital detox!
44. Here is help: Digital Detox, anyone? http://www.digitalblackout.org/about/ Digital blackout website--has a program to help schools show students the value of unplugging. CAN THEY GO THREE DAYS WITHOUT FACEBOOK? TWITTER? TEXTING? WHAT MIGHT THEY LEARN?
45. More Practical Suggestions I give my students • Set priorities for each day. I carry a small clipboard with me to classes and meetings: it helps me to keep on task and make note of things I need to do. • Get something done before you let yourself get sucked into social media early in the day. Those cat videos, political rants, holiday recipes, and photos of the grandchildren can wait • TURN OFF ALL OF THE ALERTS that you can possibly handle on your smartphone, tablet, and laptop.
46. More Practical Suggestions, cont. • Lower our expectations! It’s okay to reflect before firing off an answer to an email or text. It’s not a speed test in High School typing class. (Youngsters, ask a Baby Boomer about “typing” classes). • Set aside time each week to delete the glut of digital data clogging up our lives and PCs. • Evaluate email newsletters and unsubscribe when possible! • Consider making mealtimes a device-free zone: Make eye contact, smile, and talk. Wow!
47. How to Focus: a Mind Map The mind map was created by Jane Genovese. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/36451078204422650/ As an image pinned on Pinterest http://learningfundamentals.com.au/presentations/focus/ Posted on her website.
48. Mind map
49. What do you think??? So, what about us -- the grown ups? Engineers, Professors, Librarians, Business people, Journalists...are we any better? In spite of spending 1100 hours online in the fall, I still like reading print magazines and newspapers, and read both ebooks & print books. I often pack my iPad, iPhone, a small notebook or clipboard. I see many of you with smartphones, tablets, and hear you discussing books you’ve read. So, do those of us who read for decades before we went online have any different hard wiring? are we better able to withstand the onslaught of digital distraction and overload?
50. What do you think, cont.? • Have you noticed more people staring down, not making eye contact, and more focused on their devices during a meeting, meal, or while out in public? • Have you found yourself feeling distracted and overloaded by your devices? • Are you concerned about the findings of the CNN Report about 13 year olds, and surprised at all? • Do you see any strategies on the mind map that you are using?
51. Works Cited http://neomam.com/interactive/13reasons/ “13 Reasons The Brain Craves Infographics.” Neomam.com. Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. Norton. 2011 http://www.nicholascarr.com/ Nicholas Carr website http://www.digitalblackout.org/about/Digital Detox. Digitalblackout.org.
52. Works Cited, cont. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432697476678222230/ Genovese, Jane. “How to Focus in the Age of Distraction.” Pinterest pin. http://aci.info/2014/07/12/the-data-explosion-in-2014-minute-by- minute-infographic/ Gunelius, Susan. “Data Never Sleeps. The Data Explosion in 2014: Minute by Minute.” Infographic. 12 July 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/05/health/being-13-teens-social-media-study/ Hadad, Chuck. “Being 13: Teens and Social Media Study.” CNN. Oct. 13, 2015
53. Works Cited, cont. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Yf_-5VHiR0 Hidden Gems in, "What the Internet is Doing to our Brains.“ http://www.statista.com/chart/1971/electronic-media-use/ Richter, Felix. “Americans Use Electronic Media 11+ Hours A Day Mar 13, 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKaWJ72x1rI “What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.” Published on May 6, 2013. https://vialogue.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/the-shallows-notes-review/ Notes from The Shallows – from vialogue.wordpress.com