A few days ago, we could read in the newspaper “El País” an article with the title: “Much Facebook? Poor concentration?“. The article was moved enough in social networks and Twitter where even today remains posted and retweeted by a large number of users.
Before to start to read and just before to use the “special glasses” with which we try to look this kind of information, there were a lot of things in my mind just seeing the headline (please, if you did not read the article yet, try to discover what the headline suggests you), for example: a new study shows that people are not able to concentrate on Facebook, if you spend time on Facebook you will have some problems, Facebook is not good for the concentration, and more thoughts like those.
If you pay attention on the reading, you will find a good example about how use a headline in an article to grab the attention of the readers because in the body on the text, there isn’t more references about Facebook. The brand Facebook sells much. We insist (and the mass media specially) on the negative part in these spaces where we spent time, where we like to be, where we have fun and where many of us are learning, more or less 728 million active users (data for September of 2013 http://investor.fb.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=802760).
Not for nothing, following the reading, the article talks about an important issue: the continuous partial attention (as a way in which we use our attention). As said Linda Stone, continuous partial attention is to pay attention continuously shallow form, a fact that is motivated by the need of do not miss information and keep updating on everything.
In addition, the article is referring to the increase reading by young people: “children read a lot but they have changed the device”. In my opinion It is fantastic, where is the problem? Is better to read in paper? Is there any problem for change the device? The article goes on saying that “what happens to read digitally, through a tablet or computer, you feel the need to comment on what you read with anyone who can” and Is not this very interesting? When I was in the school, always had to make comments of my readings. Is not really interesting share with others your vision, opinion and ideas? Is not this really a great opportunity for education?
All the above questions can be solved through education. The school has a lot to do and many teachers are already doing, are already changing and already thinking. A lot of teachers are taking account of new screens, new spaces where students are sharing and talking. Following the ideas of Bartholome and Grane (2013) in his article “Questions from educational knowledge society”, we must to start to think what can do the education in this changing world? What can do the education for the excessive information? We must follow making us this kind of questions in order to reflect about or practice and improve our daily work.
Concluding, one of most important change that we have to do is in our thought about technology. Technology is not bad, the problem is how we use the technology, but this use depends of everyone. People can management their attention; the attention is a single proactive process and how we manage it, depends only on me. The attention is something that can and should work from school individually, as it is completely different in each subject. When we are reading (on screen or on paper) always run the risk of distracting: looking our social networks or with the flight of a fly. The main difference is, I decide to enter in the social network but I cannot call to the fly to divert our attention, the fly decide came by itself.
- Bartolomé, A. Grané, M. (2013) Interrogantes educativos desde la sociedad del conocimiento. En Aloma, revista de Psicología, Ciencies de l’Educación y de l’Esport. www.revistaaloma.net/index.php/aloma/article/download/173/115
- Linda Stone. Continuous partial atentión. http://lindastone.net/qa/continuous-partial-attention/
- Mucho Facebook: poca concentración? http://sociedad.elpais.com/sociedad/2013/11/10/actualidad/1384115247_184450.html