I presented a workshop this morning at the NZ Commerce and Economics Teachers Association conference here in Christchurch. The topic was 'growing up digital' and the focus was on developing understandings about how the world of our learners has been and is being shaped by their interactions with technology, and how this in turn is shaping their expectations as learners. The slideshow is represented above.
One of the topics raised in the workshop discussion was the issue of attention span, and the observation that many of our students appear to be less focused on going 'deep' into their studies, preferring instead to glean ideas from a wide variety of sources from which they gather only superficial understandings. This notion is consistent with what Nicholas Carr has written about in his book "The Shallows" (see video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGY_RjqlSRU)
This is certainly an area of concern that needs to be addressed in our staff rooms and professional learning meetings. Not as an excuse to condemn or criticize the use of technologies by the young people, rather, it needs to be used as a rallying call for educators to work together to plan how best to address the issue – how to leverage the considerable benefits and potential of such wide access to information, with the need to ensure there is depth to our engagement with it when and where it matters.