Distractions & Tech: Some Good Questions to Ask

These questions are posed in an interesting post on HybridLaptopPedagogy by S. Morris and J, Stommel. Good discussion and reflection questions about the use of laptops and distractions. The entire post is worth the read.

  1. Will I allow students to use devices in class? Why does this question, a seemingly simple one, raise so much ire and consternation among educators?
  2. What is at stake in this question — for learning — for teaching — for institutions — for corporations?
  3. Is distraction something we can manage for someone else? For ourselves? What do we assume when we valorize attention over distraction in the classroom?
  4. What kind of educational environment do we create when we ask learners to feign attention — when we ask learners and ourselves to feel responsible for each other’s attention and distraction?
  5. What are the pedagogical benefits of looking out the window in class? Of looking into a very different kind of window on the screen of a digital device?
  6. And because this discussion is so often raised in relation to course policies, what kind of policies make for good pedagogy? Do inflexible policies ever make for good pedagogy? Are policies at direct odds with or can they help create an environment of trust in the classroom?

Importantly, we should also ask why students are more often than not left out of the debate or conversation. And what happens when they’re not?

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