The Human Brain in the Digital Age

Cathy N. Davidson’s book, Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way we Live, Work, and Learn, is about the human brain and human potential in the digital age.

The heart of the book focuses on how the phenomena of “attention blindness” shapes our lives. In order to focus and pay attention to any one task we filter out many other things that are happening around us.  As a result we have blind spots. But we don’t all filter in the same way.  Our focus is idiosyncratic.  While attention blindness pigeonholes our perspective, Davidson argues that the digital age is providing new ways of seeing and learning that’s based on multitasking our attention.  Social media is allowing us to aggregate perspectives and generate a bigger and more accurate picture by seeing together.

While digital tools offer ways to mitigate the problem of attention blindness, our institutions of learning and work are still designed to meet the social and economic needs of last century. How do we prepare students for the challenges and workplaces of tomorrow? Now You See It provides glimpses of the future by highlighting visionaries and pioneers who are helping to shape the nature and direction of education and work.

Learning in a Digital Age

“Education,” scholar and writer Ralph Ellison once said, “is a matter of building bridges.” And perhaps, no bridge more important than the bridge to the future. As educators, it is our responsibility to prepare students for the world of tomorrow. Yet tomorrow isn’t what it used to be. 

This is the beginning of an article I wrote for PBS’s MediaShift website on the importance of teaching a new kind of literacy in our emerging digital age. If you’re interested in reading more click on the red word article above (which is a hyperlink to the article).