In our digital lives, there is intense competition for one thing: our attention. As a former teacher and current children’s media professional, I think about this regularly, and feel responsibility to help students learn to identify and manage digital distractions. Last week I had the pleasure of leading a workshop at Harvard’s Future of Learning Summit about exactly this.
The Premise: Digital tools are designed to capture our attention by exploiting knowledge about human responses: emotional, behavioral and social.
The Argument: Humans need support managing distraction. Through developmentally appropriate exercises both deconstructing and constructing media, using a social/emotional lens, students better understand distraction mechanisms, their responses and begin building skills to manage them.
To make the course experiential, we deconstructed “emotional” media from the Media Education Lab used game like experiences such as kahoot.it, and Ayiti: The Cost of Life from Global Kids and Unicef, and the hacked social media and meme’s using tools such has “fakebook” and “Breaking News Generator” from Russel Tarr’s: http://www.classtools.net/
Here are the slides from the workshop.