Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Integrity and disconnectedness

Yesterday, I wrote about an emerging challenge in my teaching, the overwhelmed feeling students get when they experience information overload. The curriculum's already crowded, so I'm wondering where this fits in my teaching. What's a composition teacher to do?  Some answers have come from the Future of the Internet V survey conducted by Pew Research and Elon University.

Here are some excerpts from a recent Mind/Shift article "Doomed or Lucky: Predicting the Future of the Internet Generation."
Barry Chudakov, a Florida-based consultant and a research fellow in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto: “The cognitive challenge children and youth will face (as we are beginning to face now) is integrity, the state of being whole and undivided. There will be a premium on the skill of maintaining presence, of mindfulness, of awareness in the face of persistent and pervasive tool extensions and incursions into our lives. Is this my intention, or is the tool inciting me to feel and think this way? That question, more than multitasking or brain atrophy due to accessing collective intelligence via the internet, will be the challenge of the future.”  Alvaro Retana, a technologist with Hewlett-Packard. “The people who will strive and lead the charge will be the ones able to disconnect themselves to focus on specific problems.”
A musician friend of mine says that the pause is as important the note, and I've learned that white space is a powerful design element. Maybe the same is true of digital writing. To be a valued part of a interconnected learning community is to know when to be whole, undivided, and disconnected."

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