our poor brains

Like a lot of professors I’ve wondered if I should encourage students to stay off their digital media during class–and finally did so this fall.  In today’s New York Times it even seems that we would be advised to give our brains a rest during times when we would otherwise be inclined to feed something else into our heads–like when exercising. Whatever happened to quiet time?  It’s necessary to allow our minds to process all the information we absorb during the rest of our day.  Welcome back, this year’s class and other lurkers–feel free to suggest links, articles, and other things related to class topics.  I’ll post and share.  You’re free to comment too.

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2 Responses to “our poor brains”

  1. nathan Says:

    This article seemed to mainly touch on cell phones and their many capabilities hindering our learning process during down time. What about ipods or music in general? Does music prohibit your brain from reprocessing information? I try to stay away from my cell phone as much as possible because I hate talking on the phone and having a device where people can reach me at all times. However, as soon as I get out of class, I put my headphones in for the walk across campus, as well as the bus ride home. Am I hindering my brain’s ability to reprocess information as if I had stuck my nose in a cell phone to check e mail or play snake?

  2. Carolyn Helsel Says:

    True, we all need a break from the electronic whirlwind we have created in our environment. Sitting between a person who is plugged into his or her ipod versus sitting next someone who is not on their phone or ipod is a taste of both worlds. Which one would you rather ask about how the metro station works? Which one is more approachable? While I personally like having access to social networks on the “net,” and having the ability to retain information about anything at anytime at the tip of my fingertips, it can be very overwhelming. Sometimes I wish there wasn’t so much advance in technology because people seem more personal in conversations without interrupting themselves with text messages and phone calls. While some may argue we are fortunate to have easy access to news and entertainment, it takes away value from things that used to seem so special. For example, records and movies use to be tangible objects, whereas now they are somewhere in the cyber world just waiting to be downloaded if one is lucky to stumble across it. That’s not to say that records and movies are no longer tangible objects, but it seems to be that they are well on their way to extinction unless more people appreciate them as a work of art, rather than an MP3.

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