I must apologize if you received the notification of this blog post via a Tweet or email, since according to researchers at University of California Irvine, it will take you an average of nearly 24 minutes to get back to your tasks at hand.

Now that I have your attention for the better part of the next 30 minutes (or at least until some invites you to play Candy Crush on Facebook), I’d like to invite you attend my session at NCCE in Seattle next month, “You’re So Distracted You Probably Think This Session is About You!”  (Not registered yet?  Easy?  Go here!)

I have been concerned about this topic since the first time I experimented with allowing cell phones in my own high school and college classrooms.  There is no doubt that our smart phones (and tablets and laptops) are incredible tools for learning and connecting, but, what unwanted guests are hiding beneath those beautiful, glowing screens?

Distraction?  Probably.

Lack of sleep?  Could be.

Anxiety?  Perhaps.

Of course, there is a heated debate on this topic.  We as adults may struggle with this, but, our digital natives have this covered, right?  (Let’s ignore the fact that I don’t believe in the digital native/digital immigrant dichotomy.)  Growing voices suggest that this is a problem for all of us!

I will tackle this issue in Seattle.  What does the research suggest?  How is it impacting adults?  What should we be telling kids?  Let’s start working on this problem together!  Your modeling and zen-like expertise can help all learners in our care think more honestly about these wondrous technologies.

In the meantime…

One of my “must listen” podcasts, Note to Self by WNYC Studios, announced a new project called “Infomagical” where they will tackle an important aspect of this discussion, the so-called “FOMO” or fear of missing out that some feel when they aren’t constantly engaged with their devices.

Infomagical will start next week with a series of challenges aimed at reinventing your relationship with your device.

I’m totally in.  I’ll report on my results in Seattle and would love to talk with you about it too!


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