Digital Distractions & Digital Opportunities

The Academic Technology Committee at UHS has been engaging in a lively discussion about digital distractions and digital opportunities.

An article that highlighted one end of the debate examines how some faculty at Northwestern University have started to ban technology in lecture courses as a result of the rampant distraction stoked, in part, by the ubiquity digital technology.

As a counterpoint, an article by Sal Khan asks educators to rethink our assumptions about what a class or school should be. The neuroscience of attention reveals why lectures are ineffective and how digital technology can help facilitate more active learning.

Inevitable, technology – whether in education or in society at large – isn’t an either/or proposition. Grey area abounds. Which is why robust discourse is so essential if we are to figure out the best ways technology can enhance teaching and learning – and the ways it can derail it.

What do you think?