Because I get shy, I’ve stayed mostly silent in my grad school class. I’ve been happily content just watching, learning from my peers, scribbling away in my notebook. But on the night our discussion diverted into a lesson on “the positive uses of technology in the classroom,” my hand flew straight up in the air, surprising even me.
I’m being bit dramatic, but I did in fact speak up. And I was quite surprised with how brave I was being, asserting an unpopular opinion amongst a group that had, only a moment prior, agreed to dismiss it as wrong.
I just couldn’t hold back on this one, so I raised my hand: I don’t think it’s a good idea to utilize certain technologies in the classroom.
Technology, for me, has always been somewhat scary. And I’m not talking about the commenters or the pornography or the substitution of online friends for In Real Lofeones. What I’m talking about is the medium. The screen and the clicking. The way our brains have reacted to it, submitted to it. What I’m talking about is the scary mounting evidence that the internet has in fact diminished our ability to think.
The internet is killing our capacity to read.
But I doubt this surprises to you. I’m sure you’ve felt it too, in your own life. Books you once read in big chunks, you now read in pages. Articles you once chose out of interest are now immediately dismissed for being too long. Your mind is exhausted by the hard work of paying attention.
And it’s frustrating, because you want to be a good reader. You love the idea of it, settling in on the couch for a good book, taping favorite quotes to your bathroom mirror, organizing a library of all your favorite. But every time you try to place yourself on that single minded path, your mind zips into the woods, sniffing out renegade thoughts to chew on.
“Neuroscientists and psychologists have discovered that, even as adults, our brains are very plastic… They’re very malleable, they adapt at the cellular level to whatever we happen to be doing. And so the more time we spend surfing, and skimming, and scanning … the more adept we become at that mode of thinking.” Source