Friday, November 20, 2009

Just say NO to multitasking with media

I subscribe to this great site called "Common Sense" for educators and parents. I have always worried about the "so called" ability of our kids being able to multitask. Watching TV, instant messaging, listening to music; all while doing homework. See the video here.

I think it is time as teachers that we tell parents it is OK to take a stand against this. I believe the students are also craving better focus. I repeatedly hear about our students inability to concentrate, critically think, and stay on task. Our school days are so chopped up that we rarely give them a chance to dig deep and concentrate on one idea or concept. Are we to be blamed for not creating an environment of deeper thought in our schools?

As a Librarian I am slowly working on bringing back the sacred "Silent Sustained Reading" time in all levels of our school. 10 - 30 minutes of reading to hit the "flow" as Stephen D. Krashen describes in The Power of Reading (2004). Krashen argues that we can solve many of our educational problems simply by allowing more Free Voluntary Reading (FVR). Many schools have pushed this time aside in recent years to deal with problem areas. Ironically, this may be the exact thing we need more of to help our struggling students.

1 comment:

  1. Brian Merrilees1/16/10, 8:19 PM

    Have just been with Brian and Rosemary in Chch and your blog site address has been passed on. I use the net extensively for resources in Latin and medieval French but shudder at the thought of managing one of those new phones with a possible infinity of apps. Will be reading your observations and ideas even though retirement began six years ago.

    Bria Merrilees Toronto and Dunedin