Plumbing the shallows of our mind
Downstairs from my office there is a big area where students hangout – you can frequently find students playing table tennis or cards. Today the students were talking about an online game. It reminded me of what I wrote about yesterday, when I linked to a couple of videos put together by an ethnographer in USA about the students today.
One of the most important issues I think the videos bring up is that the possibilities of distraction are so endless in our world these days. I’ve noticed it in my own mind – emails distract me, sms distract me, Facebook distracts me. I used to read books – mostly novels, sure – but books. With 200 pages. 400 pages. 600 pages. Now I read twitter. It’s 140 characters. When I get a bit of time, I go back and read the articles I’ve favorited, rarely more than 500 words at a time.
This is the thesis of a book that, totally ironically, I keep picking up and reading and putting down again: The Shallows, by Nicholas Carr. It’s (so far!) a fascinating read into how our brains are changing.
So I guess the point of this post is this: PASS and peer learning means that students are:
– connecting IRL (that’s in real life)
– helping IRL
– learning IRL
– growing IRL
We need this type of learning more than ever in this modern world where
oh wait I just got distracted by an email 🙂