Tech and Literacy: Multi-tasking

My eyes have been opened, and I now know that…..


Check out this link to find out why (skip to about a minute in on the video):

Multi-Tasking Experiment

Did you try it? I had no idea that it is nearly impossible for our brain to do more than a few things at once.  We even learned that it is biologically impossible for us to ignore certain stimuli (things that pop up in our top-right periphery, notifications anyone?).

This has many implications for us as teachers. One big one is that we have to be aware. Students may be diligently taking notes with just a pen and paper, but they might be missing crucial information. If they have laptops or other digital devices out, they may be more susceptible to distractions, such as pop-ups and social media notifications. We can’t blame them for unknowingly or even knowingly using these distractions as an escape from our lessons.

For me, what I learned about multi-tasking has challenged my primary teaching methods and their respective levels of engagement. I don’t want to worry about distractions bombarding my students, because I want them to be in-tune with learning and interacting with the content. This means that I have to be creative with presentation of the material, such as:

  • projects (group or individual)
  • discussions/debates
  • experiments
  • self-guided research
  • manipulatives
  • games
  • and more!!

Although I personally don’t have a problem with students taking notes, and that is my primary way of retention for lecture-heavy classes, I don’t want my students stressing out about remembering every last detail. I want them to feel like they have “experienced” it and have learned the concepts in a way that it is hard for them to forget. This can only be done through hands-on lessons in which students discover the main concepts themselves and the teacher facilitates this growing understanding.


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