Screening and Screenagers

Posted by & filed under Ideas.


In his book, The Inevitable, Kevin Kelly, a leading technology thinker and writer, identifies 12 technological forces that will be shaping our future, and one of these 12 is screening. Kelly suggests, “We are no longer people of the book, we are now people of the screen.” We wake up and check our screens; we look at screens embedded in our car dashboards as we back up and head to work; we stare at screens all day while at work and then come home and watch screens at night right up until the point where we plug in our screens so that we can start the process over again the next morning. Screens are everywhere! Walk across campus and compare the number of students looking at screens to those not looking at screens. In class, what are the best ways to get students to focus on the content and not on their screens? 

According to John Medina’s Brain Rule #4, “We don’t pay attention to boring things.” Our students’ screens are not boring to them; in fact, those screens are constantly rewarding their brains with addictive dopamine boosts. Can we say the same for our classroom content? How best do we get our students to turn off the screens and interact with our content. They can’t do both at the same time. Can they? The research shows that “The brain is not capable of multi-tasking.” So are screening and paying attention in class possible? Want to learn/discuss more, Don’t miss our Circle on Brain Rules Next Month. Click here to learn more about dates, locations, and times. Or feel free to contact one of your friendly faculty fellows: James May (East and Winter Park), Claudine Bentham (West), or David Rogers (Osceola and Lake Nona).

But The Inevitable and Brain Rules are not the impetus for this post; the video segment below is. Just yesterday, I got a share from a longtime Circles fan, Judy May (Thanks Mom!), who had seen an interesting segment on Today related to screening and children. In the comical segment embedded below, Jeff Rossen and team try and fail miserably at getting the kids to stop looking at their screens, which begs some questions… How should we go about getting our students to stop looking at their screens? Or perhaps more importantly, should we? What are the best practices for working with screenagers? With tools like Nearpod we can teach and screen and game and learn and quiz all in one place. Is that where the future of learning is going? Is it Inevitable? Well perhaps we can discuss it more in next month’s Circle. Until then, enjoy the video! If you can’t see the video below, click here!

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