Are you a visitor or a resident?
Think about these words as you read on…
In the last 60 seconds there have been:
- 527,760 photos are shared on Snapchat every minute
- 701,389 Facebook logins
- Twitter sees 347,222 Tweets per minute
- YouTube boasts of 2.78 million video views
- As many as 150 million emails sent are sent every one minute
- 2.4 million search queries on Google
- Almost 20.8 million messages are exchanged on WhatsApp
Take a look at the numbers below as they change while you read this blog post…. It really is mind-blowing how much information is being created and how much is being consumed.
What has changed?
Children today are Digital Natives, according to Mark Prensky. They have been born into a time where using the internet is the norm. As part of the generation of children who have grown up in Web 2.0 it is part of their culture to be uploading, creating and distributing their creations for the wider world to consume as they like. But perhaps “digital resident” and “digital visitor” is a better way of describing people because it is defined more by attitude than age. Do you live on-line? Or do you us the web in an organised way?
For all of us the online environment has changed. Adults and children are using devices to connect with other people. With the internet there is truly a global world at our fingertips. In today’s hyper-connected 24 hour society of information overload it is hard to say no and switch off…We want to know more, feel more connected, not miss out on the latest news, photo, etc. We are working harder than ever- online or offline.
How many of us are guilty of checking our phones (email, text, Twitter, Facebook etc) during a family meal? How many of us put their phones on the table during a meeting just in case a little bit of infromation comes in? We have all done it…I know I have!
So why do we feel this need to quench our infromation thirst? I think it is a case of fear of missing out (FoMO). Psychologist Adam Ferrier said that people have always felt the fear of missing out on parties and activities even before the Internet, but social media indeed elevated the FOMO intensely.There is a very strong positive correlation between the hours spent on digital technology and higher stress.
What can we do in the future?
We need to conquer the infromation overload both personally and within our schools. We know that there is more infromation being produced than ever before. I know that I need to make a change. Here a few things I am going to try out from Daniel Levitan:
- Limit the distractions of email – just turn it off!
- Take breaks – don’t take your lunch to your computer!
- Don’t multitask – I am constantly doing this…how many tabs, apps, do I need open?
- Information dumps – I always write lists but I rarely go back to them…
In my classroom
The children and I are pretty active in the classroom. There is no set place to sit, children work on the floor, on desks, on iPads, on the computer, at the microphone stand, on the IWB, in the quiet space, in the construction space. There is lots of choice in what and how they do something. We take breaks in our day for a little Go Noddle, use brain-breaks and thinking and learning routines. Getting children (and adults) active (body and mind )is so important.
At the beginning of the year we spend a lot of time talking about the expectations using iPads and computers in class and how to use these apps correctly. It is time consuming but this communication is so important for the children to feel trusted and valued in how and when to use technology. Therefore screen time and internet or device distractions are not really a big issue for the children in my class. We have 4 desktops and 7 iPads. The children have a choice of using them at any time and for any purpose. I find it interesting though that I never have to remind them about the amount of time that they spend on these devices. Why is that?
Could it be that children are quite balanced in making their online and offline choices. They see the need for communicating, consuming and creating using both technology and also not using it. One boy told me last Friday afternoon ( after spending all day rehearsing our Grade 1 play) “I have been on Kidblog, I have played Minecraft, I really want to build a marble run!” Maybe they just get it. Perhaps they see the internet and devices simply as tools. They might think that going on the internet, is like going to the park.
So the children can navigate through this online and offline visitor and resident ideas…how about me?
In the time reading this…
- How many emails have I received?
- How many twitter notifications have I received?
- How many WhatsApp messages have I received?
Am I a visitor or a resident?