Module 7: A View From the Media

Here is a link to a recent article from the Education section of the The Georgia Straight (October 30 – November 6, 2008).

The article by Karen Pinchin is titled, Wireless access tests students’ focus in class.

It seems a perfect follow-up to the discussions we all had during Module 7 activities a week or so ago. I think you’ll like this short article because it raises many of the issues we discussed and adds some concrete examples cited by the various instructors and students interviewed for the article.

The article appears as a blog entry online, and as a newspaper article in this week’s Straight. You can add your own comment to the Straight’s blog, just as you can here.



1 Bruce Spencer { 11.03.08 at 7:42 am }

Thanks, David

Wifi is certainly coming into its own. It was interesting to hear what the students had to say on the topic of internet usage in a classroom setting – how some of them found it distracting while others thought it was a godsend. They seem to feel that monitoring internet usage should be their responsibility.

I’m not surprised to read about increase in mobile technology usage. I suspect that the switch from laptops to handheld devices will become even more prevalent as the technology for these handheld devices improves.



2 davidp { 11.03.08 at 10:10 am }

Yes, the student comments were most interesting to me, because it was not a position I have heard voiced that much.

I’d actually like to hear more and especially from a participatory design perspective, with a question like, “How could we as instructors make classes more productive or engaging in the context of laptops and mobile devices?”

This does not seem to happen much – the asking part, that is.


3 Laura Macleod { 11.03.08 at 10:14 am }

Really interesting article. I’m currently working on a project with a university in southern Ontario to develop better elearning resources and student response is being designed into the project. We need to get beyond the surface of this issue (it distracts me! well, so did the guy crinkling his candy bar in my international politics class 20 years ago!) and dig into how the tech can be harnessed. Can people really multitask, as the young man suggests he does? Or does it just mean they do lots of things poorly?

Given my cross-disciplinary, cross-Canada perspective, I’d say the genie is out of the bottle and we may as well figure out how to use it for good, not for evil.


4 davidp { 11.03.08 at 12:36 pm }

Well, you’ve seen my views on multitasking in another post. I stand by them.


5 Laura Macleod { 11.03.08 at 4:32 pm }

David – I’m not sure I”d use the word ‘curmudgeon’ – I’d go with common sense. As you’ve all no doubt heard, Ontario’s enacting a cell phone ban in cars. The day before it was announced, I was walking my 9-year-old to school (along with about 100 other people who walk along our street.) I nearly got hit cross the road by a woman texting on her blackberry. She stopped, exclaimed, WENT BACK to texting, and promptly nearly hit my son, who was trailing along behind. Only my loud shriek of anger and pounding on her window stopped her.

Like I said, common sense.

6 Deepika Sharma { 11.07.08 at 4:32 am }

I just read the article. Interesting! Amazes me how kids these days can multitask – I know they can – I see my daughter at home (fortunately she can’t take her laptop to school) – she has her chat window open, her ipod plugged in and she is studying – well, she gets good grades so i am not complaining but this could be unnerving in a classroom! This is the time I say “Thank god I am not a teacher” – all other times I miss being one…specially with so much available to make education interesting!

Thanks for the link David.


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