Summary of Learning

Originally for our summary of learning Roxanne and I decided to try out this videoscribe that everyone is talking about.  We struggled with it for a while before talking to a colleague who encouraged us to try a podcast.  He had this super awesome microphone for us to use and walked us through a program that was very useful in creating our podcast.  I’m so glad that we changed our idea of how to present our learning from this semester as we were able to enjoy, reminisce, and laugh while putting our podcast together… all of this was possible with our super awesome microphone!  Last semester we figured out animoto, and now we  have had a great experience using welcome to cast to create our final summary of learning.  By clicking the link below you will have a chance to travel back in time with us as we discuss our learning from the semester.

Summary of learning

First Impression of Virtual/Augmented Reality = MAN CAVE

When I first heard the terms augmented reality and virtual reality my thoughts automatically went to my husband and his passion for gaming. I thought about his countless, useless hours spent in front of a stupid gaming system and was struggling to make any kind of connection between his gaming habits and education; specifically teaching and learning.  After having the opportunity to read Erin’s blog this week I didn’t feel so bad as she immediately linked the thought of these realities to pokemon go, once she was able to get past that augmented and virutal reality were more than just gaming then she was able to see ways of incorporating them into our educational system.  Logan and Bill did a wonderful job of presenting in a manner that I was able to relate to. Following their presentation I was able to make the connection to my own teaching and learning experiences.

The take-away from this presentation was that I was able to understand augmented reality is putting something on top of the world that we already live in (an example would have been Logan’s Pokémon that was seen in the same photo as the bun he was eating at that particular moment). Virtual reality is more of a digitally projected environment and world (some examples of this would be Google cardboard, PlayStation vr, etc.)

I haven’t had the opportunity to research in-depth augmented and virtual reality. I think this is more so due to my lack in motivation to actually start researching. I suppose the lack of motivation is simply because it is low on my totem pole of interests. I think if I can’ t be enthusiastic, engaged and excited about the opportunity to use augmented and virtual reality in my own classroom, how am I going to get the students excited about it?  I think part of this comes from my lack of knowledge and training/professional development in these varying types of realities.  If I could receive more training or professional development in these realities, I would be more comfortable and confident in incorporating them into my classrooms.  Technology and I have never really cultivated a good friendship, playing around with a program or application and trying to figure out its use is not an effective way for me to learn.

During this week’s presentation I became very intrigued as to how I could incorporate augmented and virtual realities into education (physical education to be specific). I immediately did a search in Google and discovered a webpage that offered some wonderful insight as to how virtual reality could be incorporated into our schools.  Some of the suggestions this website offered were:

  • a variety of ways of assessing our lessons
  • we have the opportunity to watch demonstration videos that may alter views making the demonstration more accessible to all
  • we could take our students to athletic events, sites, on field trips through virtual reality, without the help of the magic school bus
  • we can look more in depth at the human body and its inner systems
  • we can provide opportunities for simulation (nursing said this is a big hit within their profession)
  • virtual reality could be beneficial for those involved in drivers education programs; they could go through a driver simulation prior to being thrown into the real world
  • students could practice various presentations or ways of presenting
  • parents/students/teachers etc. could take a virtual tour of schools rather than having to be physically in the building for the tour.
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As you can see there are many ways virtual reality can be incorporated into our education programs.

If I focus specifically on physical education and this list, I really like the idea of providing the opportunity to our students to watch demonstration videos with differing views that may help them to perfect a particular skill or activity. I am also drawn back to the presentation and the demonstration that Bill and Logan gave on the Aurasma application. I was immediately intrigued by this application and I began thinking about how I could incorporate it into my physical education classroom.  One example I thought of was having circuit cards with pictures on them and then when the application is used an explanation of that particular exercise or activity would become accessible.  Rochelle had a great way of using this application in the library as well; I think this application could be beneficial to many teachers provided we determine the appropriate ways to use it in the classroom.

Aurasma app in action!

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The article Augmented Reality Brings New Dimensions to Learning was quite informational and helped to in understanding multiple ways of incorporating augmented realities into our schools.  The article suggests that augmented reality allows us to create our own active learning experiences. Our learning experiences go beyond reading and listening, they also happen through interaction. Augmented reality allows students to construct their own exciting, fun, educational learning worlds.  The article suggested that we as students and educators need to explore and figure out what works and what doesn’t.  The article had a variety of ways to incorporate augmented reality into our schools however the one that I found to be inspiring was the parent involvement.  It suggested that we put a trigger picture on the student’s desk and when a child feels like they need inspiration or encouragement they can scan the picture and a voice recording from their parents will be there providing special words to their child.

I do believe this type of technology is slowly starting to be integrated into our world, our society and now into our schools. Like many technologies, rather than trying to avoid using them, we need to move towards figuring out ways to use them appropriately.  We need to teach our students how to be good digital citizens and how to use technology for educational purposes and not only for entertainment.  I have started to shift my thinking from my husband’s gaming to a world of possibility! If we begin to incorporate both augmented and virtual reality into our schools, anything is possible.

Assistive Technologies Within Our Schools

I would like to thank this week’s group for putting together a great presentation that was loaded with very useful information and resources. As a physical education specialist I haven’t had the opportunity to use many assistive technologies in my workplace setting. However, I have been around these aids within the school environment and have seen them put to good use.  Within our school we have students who require visuals, structure, routine, etc.  I use the visual timer in the gymnasium to hopefully help these students transition from one activity to another.

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I set the visual timer so they can see how much time we have remaining in class or I use the timer for simple, small activities that are occurring in my lessons.  Many teachers within our school have visual timers set up in their classroom. These timers can be useful for everyone and not just for students who have trouble transitioning from one task to another.

Another assistive technology that I wouldn’t have thought was and assistive technology that we use in our school is the different types of seats for students.

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Our seats range from rocking chairs, to wiggle seats to things that can be put on a regular chair for the student to sit on. These chairs have been useful for our students in the sense that they are able to wiggle and move throughout a lesson without disrupting the entire class.  Many students have trouble being stationary and focusing; these chairs enable them to move, focus on the task at hand and draw less attention to themselves throughout the lesson.  When I think back to my childhood in school, I remember teachers were always saying “sit down, be quiet, stop moving”. I can imagine how difficult and frustrating this was for everyone in the classroom.  If these seats were available in my school days, would the students have been more successful, better focused and able expend energy in a positive manner?

IPads have been a great resource for many teachers in our school. Although I do not have access to IPads in the gymnasium classroom, I do see how they could be beneficial for our students.  IPads have a variety of applications that are accessible to students to help with their varying needs. Students do not necessarily have a learning disability to benefit from these IPads, all students can find something on an IPad that will enable them to be successful in whatever they are learning.

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Chrome books and computers are other forms of technology that are used often in our school. These types of technology allow students to learn in a different way and hopefully ensures they are successful.  Computers allow our students who have difficulties writing the option to type.  Another program that I have mentioned before in my blog is the Google Voice to Text.  This program allows our students to speak and the computer types what the student is saying.  This tool can be a real benefit to students with or without difficulties.

In the past I have worked with a student who has a hearing impairment. This student have hearing aids to assist him with his disability and contributes to his success in learning.  This past year we have begun to use a microphone that synchronises directly with his hearing aid; what is being said in the microphone is amplified for him and not for the other students.  The teachers that have used this piece of technology with this student have found it very beneficial and the student has nothing but positive things to say about it as well.  We have tried this system out in the gymnasium and after the first class using it we had a discussion about how this aid worked in the gym environment. There were definitely things I could change or do differently to ensure that he was receiving the necessary instruction better through his aid.  However, on his own without the influence of others the student decided that this tool was not benefit to him in the gymnasium. He indicated there was more time spent on activities rather than the instruction itself.  We haven’t used it since at his request and he has been very successful in physical education so far.

Resistance bands and fidgets have been a go to for many of our students. Although these may not be seen as technology they are something that is assists our in learning.  Resistance bands can be a real benefit for students who feel they need to be on the move, expend energy but are unable to get up and move based on the particular lesson.  The use of fidgets can also be a benefit in keeping students busy, focused, and keeping their hands to themselves and on task.  Students can either be beneficial or can be a distraction for other students and teachers.

Like most things these aids require funding. Our school board doesn’t necessarily have the funding allocated to these aids in order to provide all of the options for our schools, students and staff.  With lack of funding and resources there is only so much that we can do to create a positive learning environment that meets the needs of each individual student.

Rethinking assistive technology suggests that as educators we have little to no training in the assistive technology department which hinders our progress in implementing these tools in our classrooms successfully.  As an educator I would find it beneficial to have some training, background information, ways of implementation in these types of technologies in my classroom.  This article also suggests that there has been no evidence that suggests all students have access to the necessary tools, devices and services that they need.  If we as educators are not providing our students with the necessary tools, devices and resources how to we ensure that they are successful individuals in our classrooms and in our society?

Assessment Tools In P.E.

When we as teachers thought about assessment, some words that came to mind were quizzes, incoming marks, grades, learning outcomes, formative assessment, summative assessment, showing what you know, summary of learning, and testing knowledge. All of these words are descriptors of assessment. However, there are many ways in which assessment can be used in our classrooms depending on our individual students, our teaching styles, our lessons etc.

Pre-assessment is a way teachers can determine prior knowledge, with the use of pre-assessment we are able to determine what our students know, what they would like to know, and what direction to take. Pre-assessment allows us to help focus our lesson and help plans to the individual needs of our students and provide opportunities for them to be successful.  Some forms of pre-assessment suggested this week by the group were google forms and survey monkey.  I not had the opportunity to use these types of pre-assessment tools, however, I would be interested in investigating them further in the future.

This week our group suggested that a formative assessment is most helpful when it happens in real time. It was recommended that technology is one way of providing teachers with instant results.  As a specialist teacher, I often don’t get to work in the classrooms with students as I spend most of my time in the gymnasium.  However, this year I am teaching a grade 6/7 science class which has been a real eye-opener for me in regards to the reading/writing level of our students.  I had a conversation with their classroom teacher expressing my concerns with a few students in this science class that have trouble putting their words onto paper.  She suggested I use voice to text on Google.  I haven’t had the opportunity to try out this feature in Google but I have heard positive reviews from other teachers who have been using it throughout the year with their individual students.

Summative assessment can be a good method of testing what students know or what they have learned about in a specific unit. It does not necessarily have to be done with the use of testing or a midterm; students have the flexibility to show what they have learned throughout a unit by completing a project and by using technology as a way of representing what they know/learned etc.

Technology has become a huge part of our everyday lives and as a physical education teacher I see both the positive and negative impacts technology has had on the students in my classroom. I am guilty of not using technology in my physical education classes, however, I know there will be a point where I need to move in the direction of incorporating technology into my daily lessons with my students.  I want to teach my students how to use technology in a way they will benefit and improve their health and fitness rather than do the opposite.  SPARK has been a fabulous resource for many elementary teachers teaching their own phys ed classes who do not have a physical education background.  Like many people who teach physical education we deal with many challenges, one of them being a lack of equipment.  If we can incorporate technology into our teaching, learning and assessing, I think we will connect with our students on another level.

SPARK has suggestions on how we can incorporate technology and ways that we can perform assessments using technology in our classrooms. Some ways I would be interested in incorporating assessment that is related to technology into my classroom is using pedometers, heart rate monitors, health tracking, various apps, video resources and games.  All of these ideas and suggestions come from the SPARK resource that is provided to all schools within the Regina Public School System.  Addressing the individual needs of each student is essential in all academic areas including physical education.  It is understandable that not all students are as active as one another, therefore, by setting goals and finding ways to achieve these individual goals can be essential to the successful in physical education.  With the use of pedometers we could set individual goals, we would be able to measure steps throughout a variety of tasks, both in and out of school.  Educators need to be mindful of when using pedometers we need to be aware that heart rates vary among children with different abilities and activity levels. It is essential that we take this into consideration when doing our planning.

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Heart rate monitors are another way we can individualize and customize goals to meet the individual needs of our students. Through the use of heart rate monitors we could measure individual student’s pulses’ while participating in physical activities.  The use of heart rate monitors would challenge students to achieve a obtainable goal.  Students can feel involved in the process and are left with the encouragement to participate in movement activities.  Using this type of technology in our classrooms allows us to provide instant feedback and allows students to change or adjust their goals as they feel necessary.

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Various apps that are accessible through IPad, computer, phone etc. (ex. MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal etc.) allows students to track their activity and nutrition levels. Through the use of applications like this it allows our students to improve in athletics, performance cues in relation to skills etc.  The applications allow them to make comparisons between what they are able to do and what the application instructs them to do.  Through the use of applications we can set individualized goals and assess our students based on their individual needs.

With the use of video resources we can teach a wide variety of things. Educators and students are also able to create their own video resources. This enables students the opportunity to show off and share their knowledge and learning in a different way.  The teacher can also assess a students learning based on their video resource presentation.

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The group that presented this week did a wonderful job of sharing information and knowledge about assessments. I did however find many of the topics discussed unrealistic to use as a specialist teacher.  For example, if a classroom teacher has to enter 30 students into the program they are using, then do I as a specialist teacher enter all 300 students or more that I teach?  If there was a collaboration piece and the classroom teacher and I could get on the same board with using the same types of assessment tools, it would make things much easier.

Although I was unable to test out any assessment tools in my classroom this week, I do use gradebook on a regular basis. Someone in class this week mentioned that paper copies of report cards are not needed. I disagree because some students and parents within our school often don’t have online access and this is the only way parents can monitor the progress of their child.  Gradebook has been a great resource for assessment in my teaching career thus far.  It provides the opportunity to link my teaching/assignments to the various outcomes and provides parents with a way of seeing what we are teaching and what their children are learning.

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I hope to continue using gradebook throughout my career as I do really like the program. It does have its shortfalls but nothing that would deter me from continuing to use it as my main source of assessment.  I hope within the next few years to slowly begin to incorporate different types of technological assessments into my classroom.

Web 1.0.. Check! Web 2.0… Check! Web 3.0…. ???

First, I would like to thank Erin, Naomi, Angus, Kyle and Heidi for sharing this week about Web 1.0-3.0. Prior to this week’s class, I did not have a lot of information or knowledge about the various Web’s. From their presentation I left understanding Web 1.0 are internet browsers, email, chat rooms etc.  Some things that are made possible for teacher’s through web 1.0 are bulletin boards, practical information, keeping up-to-date with current research.  Students can also engage in gaming, online books, information processing and the ability to share information. The use of web 1.0 changed teaching with a shift towards being less teacher directed and more focused on the student.  It has also brought on new challenges, mainly for teachers as they became resistant to the use of technology due to inadequate training etc.  Although there are certainly a few downfalls, web 1.0 has allowed us to connect with the outside world.

From what I understand from the information shared in the presentation Web 2.0 is more of a social web which includes things such as blogs, wiki’s podcasts, twitter, YouTube, blogs etc. Through the use of web 2.0 social networking occurs and online communities are formed.  With the use of web 2.0 the teacher becomes more of a facilitator of learning rather than the distributor of knowledge.  Web 2.0 encourages creativity and collaboration among students. The presentation compared web 1.0 and 2.0 which helped me to understand the differences.  It was suggested that web 1.0 was a place to “look stuff up” and web 2.0 was a place where we can create, collaborate and connect.

Just when I thought I was in the clear by understanding web 1.0, web 2.0, they threw in web. This is when things got a little messy for me. Based on Benita’s post this week she had similar feelings as I did when it comes to web 3.0.  She commented about finally getting a handle on 2.0 and now there’s a 3.0!? (I don’t think either one us is quite ready for the 3.0 just yet).  She also suggested that in order for web 3.0 to be accepted by educators and as society we will have to fully adopt web 2.0.  I agree with Benita in the sense that web 3.0 is coming whether we are ready for it or not; we may as well prepare ourselves, make necessary changes to our teaching and learning in order to accommodate it.  Tyson also left me feeling reassured after the presentation, I was feeling lost, perhaps even clueless as to what web 3.0 was.  Tyson also admitted he was unable to grasp the concept fully and was worried about missing the big picture.  After a handy-dandy google search Tyson discovered that web 3.0 is still being pieced together, developed and is still unknown.  Thanks to Tyson’s research and for his post this week I was more comfortable and confident knowing that I was not the only one who was left with questions and uncertainties about the whole web 3.0.

Gerstein’s article suggests that with the shift of web 1.0-3.0 happening there should also be a shift happening in our teaching. Gerstein suggests that as educators we should be following what is happening via the internet in regards to students function, learning, play, work, health, interactions etc.  However, this shift is not quite happening yet.  She suggests many educators are still stuck on Web 1.0 and have yet to move to 2.0 and definitely most have yet to reach 3.0.  This article provided great information that helped me to lay out the differences of web’s and allowed me to make connections to my own teaching and learning.  The article suggests web 1.0 there is one way of providing knowledge and that is from teacher to student.  This information is often provided through resources, text books etc. Although they are able to work on activities in relation to their learning they are often in isolated groups where information is regurgitated.  Web 2.0 includes greater opportunity for interaction between the teacher and student, students to one another, and the student to the information being learned.  With the use of technology this allows us to enhance, make more meaningful and interactive opportunities for our students within their learning.  Web 3.0 allows us to individualize to meet the needs of each individual, allows them to learn about relevant information in an interactive, personalized, free manner.

When it comes down to the shift from web to web and education I think it will be difficult for most of us. I do think many teachers will be resistant to so many changes. However, eventually it will not be a choice and they will have to make adaptations and changes to their own teaching in learning to accommodate it.  As an individual who has never been confident or up-to-date with technology, I think these changes will be harder for me to adapt to versus someone who is already engaged, confident and moving towards the use of 3.0 already.  There will definitely need to be some professional development and training required so teachers can successfully implement the use of web 3.0 within their own teaching and learning. Without training and further guidance many teachers will experience uneasiness and frustration.  I do think the same will go for students, as educators once we have received information, training etc. it is our job to ensure that our students are able to use web 1.0-3.0 successfully in their own teaching and learning.  I do fear that if we rely solely on technology in our teaching and learning there will be many students who are disadvantaged due to lack of access at home.  Is there a way to ensure all of our teachers and students are on a fair playing field?  If we are moving towards web 3.0, how can we ensure that everyone is comfortable and confident before being submerged into using it?  There are so many uncertainties and questions that are left unanswered, and until there are answers and successful transition into web 3.0, there will always be individuals who will resist using it.

Blogging, Zoom, Google +, Twitter In Relation To My Own Teaching And Learning

Technology has never really been my thing and I can say without reservation, technology is a work in progress for me. I was fortunate to have taken a class from Alec last semester that enabled me to feel more comfortable in this semester’s session.  Some of the tools were introduced to me last semester I continued to use this semester that aid in my learning are: my personal blog page, zoom, google plus and twitter.  I have also been introduced to a variety of other tools through presentations of others that could be useful in my own teaching and learning.

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I really enjoy the whole blogging experience. I think that in a blog I am able write about things without having the formalities attached to it.  There are no worries about APA format; I can write at ease and can include a variety of media sources into my writing.  I like the idea of the blog in the sense that once I have created it, I will always have it.  I can use my blog for educational purposes (my own teaching and learning), personal reasons (family etc.), and as a means of communication to others that I don’t often see. There are many uses for a blog. Once it is has been created there are many ways it can be used.  The blog hub that Alec has provided for us has been very helpful for me in connection to other people in the class.  I can remain updated on their learning through the blogging process.  This leaves us with opportunities to read one another’s work and to comment or have discussion about what we are learning.  I am more confident with the blogging process and how to use a blog in general, however, I think if I was ever in a position to teach other’s how to use a blog I would be doing them an injustice.  Alec and Katia did a wonderful overview last semester and broke down the blogging process step by step which was very helpful for me to understand blogs. There are always new things popping up as we learn and I think blogging is an example of this.  If I taught an online class or distance education class, I think blogging would be a great way of keeping track of my students and their learning – my only concern is how I would evaluate?  Assessment is a big component in education and I think blogs would be difficult and challenging to assess.

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Twitter is another tool that many of my master’s classes have decided to use. I like the idea of twitter because I can connect with my classmates as well as others.  Twitter enables me to read about a variety of things that pertain to my own teaching and learning. Twitter also allows me to collaborate ideas/resources etc, It gives me the opportunity to be engaged in a different way.  I would love to incorporate twitter into my own teaching. I know many teachers that have used it in their classrooms and it has been very successful for them.  My main concern with Twitter is the privacy issues and the formalities that go along with it.  I attended a session during one of our professional development days that discussed the use of twitter in your classroom.  I found the session very helpful and informative but would prefer to have someone walk me through the steps of setting up a twitter account for a classroom. It would also be beneficial to understand the pros and cons, and the responsibilities of both the teacher and learner when it comes to the account.  If I was in a situation where I taught an online class or a distance learning class, I would incorporate Twitter into my teaching. Like blogging, with Twitter I struggle on how I would perform any kind of assessment.

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Zoom is a tool that I have been fortunate enough to use these past two semesters. Like Alec discussed in our last class zoom is great in the sense that it is affordable and you can share it with several colleagues.  As an educator I think having the funds to do things or use certain programs etc. definitely play a part in what we choose to use.  I like Zoom because you can log on as a class, communicate with classmates, can speak or just listen (depending on your comfort level). The chat feature is a great option for those that aren’t comfortable verbalizing all the time and as an added bonus the features within the breakout room are great. If I was teaching an online class, I would use Zoom because it’s affordable and I am pretty comfortable using it.  There are always new and updated features that can be learned, but those can be learned with trial and error as the program is being used.

Google + is another tool that has been used in my online classes. I like the idea of Google Plus, however, I am guilty of not using it as much as I could.  Google + offers a great way to collaborate, share resources/ideas and ask questions etc.  Overall I think Google + is a great idea! I just need to get in the habit of using it more often so I can become more comfortable with it and all the features it has. Having said this, I am going to leave this open-ended;  I am not certain I like the idea of it but I haven’t used it enough to know whether or not I would incorporate into my own teaching.

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Face-to-face interaction versus online interaction can impact learners in many different ways.  I think it really comes down to the learner and their style – what is more comfortable for them, how as an educator can we meet the needs of these learners regardless if it is online or face-to-face.  I think teaching an online class with the teacher present and visible is more beneficial than teaching an online class where there is no teacher present.  Personally, having a teacher present keeps me accountable, on task and I have a heightened comfort level. I think that if there are ever situations where I have questions or concerns having a teacher present they are able to respond.  It is also nice when you can put a face to the name and have interaction instead of just working on a course at my own pace without any guidance other than a syllabus.  I think it depends on the individual, there are many people who would rather work on a class at their own pace and their own time rather than having to log on to Zoom at a scheduled time. However, based on my needs and my learning style I would run a class similar to how Alec is currently running his online classes.

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#TablessThursday…. I Could Get Used To This Idea!

I would like to start off by saying how much I loved this video. I think this video portrayed a day in the life of me.  I often find myself running off on tangents, having a million tabs open, clicking around trying to figure out which tab I need in order to complete what I am working on.

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(Right now I currently have 13 separate browsers open, most of which have nothing to do with one another… ooppss!!)

I agree that I don’t remember the last time I concentrated on working on one thing without trying to do something else at the same time.  I had a good laugh at the end of the video when he says I don’t doubt that you were doing something else while you were watching the video, of course I was!  I was watching the video, trying to take notes, and organizing piles and piles of things on my desk at work… he caught me

In the video he brings up some good points that are worth discussing.  With the help of research it was suggested that Facebook and texting have negatively affected the overall GPA of College/University students.  I can see why; many students in College/University have their lap tops with them and rather than paying attention to the instruction from the teacher they are focused on Facebook.  The students may think they are able to do both well, however, research shows that if we focus on one thing and only one thing you will be able to do that thing well and to your fullest capability rather than putting in half the effort.

One thing that he has adopted into his own life was Tab-less Thursday.  Tab-less Thursday suggests that you don’t use the internet in a traditional way, you single task, you do one thing, you can do work but only on ONE thing at a time.  Once you begin working with this mindset you can make a judgement call, “Do I want to finish what I am working on or do I want to stop and do something else?”  I really like this idea. However, in my daily life I think it would be a hard task for me to exercise this mindset on a continual basis.  I would love to say I am only working on one thing and can devote all my attention to what I am working on. However, I often find this becomes quite a challenge for me.  I am the kind of person with a million things going on at once. I will watch television and be on my phone at the same time. I will make supper while watching television and still check my phone continually.  When I am working on a computer I always have several tabs open researching a number on topics and for a variety of different reasons.  I would say I am up for the challenge, it is my goal one day a week to set everything aside and focus on one task at a time.  If we make a conscious effort to do this, I think the things we are focusing on will be more successful.  “Tabs are a metaphor for life, if you can have one open and focus on that you will do great at it.”

This video suggests “Heavy media multitaskers are more susceptible to interference from irrelevant environmental stimuli” – proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  When I hear this statement I think about my students at school.  I think our students are growing up in a world where multi-tasking is the norm.  Multi-tasking can be a great quality to have but it can also create obstacles and challenges along the way.  Our students that are used to interruptions and things going on around them will often find themselves being distracted.  I think about trying to teach a lesson and all the distractions that go along with it. I never would have thought students who are heavy media multitaskers are more likely to be interrupted by these distractions than those who don’t – this does not surprise me.

Technology and how we interact with it has affected us in everyday life. Are we developing an inability to focus because we don’t focus on one thing at a time? He brought up a good point and I would definitely have to say yes.  We are constantly multi-tasking and trying to do more than one thing at a time, therefore, our focus is being divided up among many things.

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If our focus is being divided up into many things, this would attribute to our inability to focus on one thing for an extended period of time.  I often see this in my students. I know there are many other reasons why students are unable to focus, however, I do believe and agree that the use of technology perhaps has attributed their inability to focus on the task at hand.

Another interesting point that was addressed in the video was “When workers don’t check email, they focus for longer on tasks and show less physiologic signs of stress” – Mark & Voida, Proceedings of SIGHI Conference on Human factors in Computing.  I think about my work life; email has become a big part of it.  Just today I had a parent emailing about their child’s grade that they were able to view on gradebook.  This added to my stress as I was already trying to teach my classes but also felt obligated to return their email explaining their child’s grade.  If I hadn’t of checked my email until the end of the day, I would definitely have been less stressed about everything going on.  This is just one example of how email can attribute to a person’s stress levels.

When I think about life in general, I think we are all multi taskers in some fashion or another.  My husband would be a prime example.  He went over and above when he decided the basement needed to become a “man cave”.  In the man cave some nights he is watching television (football or hockey), playing a video game, doing something on the Ipad, texting and has the baby monitor down there listening for my son.  It often crosses my mind how he could possibly be doing so many things at once. Although he is able to do all these things at once, is he doing them to the best of his capabilities? Probably not!  I would definitely say the internet can become a big distraction, however, it also enables us to do many things that without it would or could be impossible.  I think we need to moderate what we are doing and learn to focus on one thing at a time, this way we can ensure we are putting our best effort forward towards the task at hand.

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