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Lyn Hilt

Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Hi... - 14 views

shared by Lyn Hilt on 29 Mar 12 - No Cached
  • Five or six years ago, I attended a lecture on the science of attention. A philosopher who conducts research over in the medical school was talking about attention blindness, the basic feature of the human brain that, when we concentrate intensely on one task, causes us to miss just about everything else
    • Cary H
      Can you hear me, Larry?
    • Carol Arco
      Is that like selective hearing? You hear what you want? I don't think so. I think attention blindness is concentrating so deeply on one thing that your subconscious blocks out everything else, as oppose to selective hearing, you choose not to hear. What about the subliminal conscience. When we're at the movie theater and without us knowing, there are intermittent shots of coca cola or pop corn ads and you find yourself going to the snack bar to buy it. Why wouldn't the gorilla be the same thing?
  • Everyone except me. I'm dyslexic, and the moment I saw that grainy tape with the confusing basketball tossers, I knew I wouldn't be able to keep track of their movements, so I let my mind wander. My curiosity was piqued, though, when about 30 seconds into the tape, a gorilla sauntered in among the players. She (we later learned a female student was in the gorilla suit) stared at the camera, thumped her chest, and then strode away while they continued passing the balls.
  • The 20th century taught us that completing one task before starting another one was the route to success. Everything about 20th-century education, like the 20th-century workplace, has been designed to reinforce our attention to regular, systematic tasks that we take to completion. Attention to task is at the heart of industrial labor
    • Peter Skillen
      While I agree that we have honoured discipline and solitary focus as described here, I disagree with the inference that our brains can do differently.
      Much research, including Daniel Kahneman's work on Thinking, Fast and Slow, describes the impact of rapid attention switching on performance et al.

      What I DO agree with, however, is the concept of 'many brains' - or 'distributed minds' - working on multiple tasks simultaneously - as in 'crowdsourcing'.

      I just think we need not to mix the two things up. 

      Yes, I do believe in the plasticity of the brain and learning new habits and ways of being in the world - rewiring if you like. Hebb said it - "Neurons that fire together - wire together." 

      But, I also firmly believe that there an individual has attentional limits and effort required (wasted) in moving from one complex task to another.
    • David dale
      I think this is a valid point Peter, and one that needs to be emphasized. Not mulitasking, but multibraining.
    • Renee Hawkins
      I don't think Davidson would disagree with you. I believe what she is saying is that "focusing" our attention is not a natural state of the mind. The mind is designed to pay attention to...everything. We are taught to direct or focus our attention, which we can do for a period of time, but then what are we missing by focusing our attention? Will we miss the Gorilla while counting tossed balls? She does address multitasking in her book, but I've got to run. More later!
    • David dale
      I disagree with that, I think that the human mind is built to focus. When there is nothing to focus on we see many things, but we don't ever see everything. Our brains are just not able to deal with the amount of information that our senses supply. Our brain chooses what to pay attention to at any one time, and filters out the rest. I believe that is why the research on multitasking show that there really is no such thing. If we try to do more than one thing at a time our performance suffers greatly.
    • Smadar Goldstein
      I think it depends on the complexity of the task at hand. Can I talk on the phone to a friend and fold laundry? For sure. Can I teach an online class and fold laundry? One of those will suffer. I do find, recently, that even during my online classes, I am checking my BlackBerry and sometimes responding. I hate this! I want to stop doing this! I want to concentrate on my class! I think a danger of multi-tasking, especially in our society which promotes as much as possible, is that we feel that we are not accomplishing enough if we only focus on one task at a time. Devices such as BlackBerry's and iPhones are also incredibly addictive!

      I think we need to differentiate not only on the difficulty of the task at hand, but on it's priority.

      What is an amazing multi-tasker? What defines success in that regard? The person who noticed the gorilla and the amount of balls being passed, or the person who knows when to focus on which task and when to move on and when to begin juggling a few tasks at once and when to stop?
  • ...6 more annotations...
  •  In the iPod experiment, we were crowdsourcing educational innovation for a digital age. Crowdsourced thinking is very different from "credentialing," or relying on top-down expertise. If anything, crowdsourcing is suspicious of expertise, because the more expert we are, the more likely we are to be limited in what we conceive to be the problem, let alone the answer.

    • David dale
      Do we really want to discount expertise? Is expertise no longer valuable? I think we need the experts to participate as well.
    • Peter Skillen
      Interesting point Dave. 
      You see, I think that often the issues with folks when we are making a point is that we frame things in a dichotomous way. It's either  this way or that way. It's left or right. It's hot or cold. It's top-down or bottom-up.
      I think TRUE expertise results in an ability to opportunistically select and move among the various dimensions of all the related continua. So, for example, an expert would be able to choose top-down, bottom-up, middle-out and all the variations depending on his/her analysis of type of problem space, knowledge of domain (of and about), mood, position in the process, etc. 

      Crowdsourcing should not be suspicious of expertise. It should be suspicious of lack of expertise. I think the 'experts are among us'. Expertise resides in each of us. Some of us are real smart in some somethings and may, or may not be credentialed. Some of us are not so smart and are credentialed. However, to dismiss - based on credentials or lack of - is not smart.

      I also believe in the concept of  being an 'expert generalist'. And it was this phrase that brought tut tuts and tch tch and looks of distaste at me when I described it. And, bless him, Carl Bereiter (who was leading the symposium) he is known to do...the room hushed...and he then supported the concept (and I started to breathe again!! )

      So crowdsourcing will likely be enriched by drawing on ALL kinds of expertise -- formal, informal, credentialed, non-credentialed, and as many other dimensions of diversity as you can imagine.
  • Interconnection was the part the students grasped before any of us did. Students who had grown up connected digitally gravitated to ways that the iPod could be used for collective learning
    • David dale
      Did kids who were in University in 2003 really grow up in a digitally connected world? Thant seems a bit early for be making that claim. I think this is important because, if they were not digitally literate for the previous 18 to 20 years, then they learned those skills on their own. That would mean that anyone could develop those skills and abillities.
  • But it got me thinking: What if bad writing is a product of the form of writing required in college—the term paper—and not necessarily intrinsic to a student's natural writing style or thought process? I hadn't thought of that until I read my students' lengthy, weekly blogs and saw the difference in quality. If students are trying to figure out what kind of writing we want in order to get a good grade, communication is secondary. What if "research paper" is a category that invites, even requires, linguistic and syntactic gobbledygook?
    • David dale
      Wow, I handn't thought of that. In order to write well, do you need an authentic audience? Do you need an authentic task?
    • Lisa Koch
      It has been my experience that working with any age group (myself included) our writing is better with an audience. A great value of our connected society is the opportunity to create an authentic audience for any project.
  • "And who saw the gorilla?
    • Lyn Hilt
      I used this video in a PD presentation one time. Was amazing to see the results! 
  • Attention blindness is the fundamental structuring principle of the brain, and I believe that it presents us with a tremendous opportunity. My take is different from that of many neuroscientists: Where they perceive the shortcomings of the individual, I sense an opportunity for collaboration. Fortunately, given the interactive nature of most of our lives in the digital age, we have the tools to harness our different forms of attention and take advantage of them.
Carol Arco

Crowdsourcing: A Million Heads is Better than One. - 4 views

My post is the perfect example of what crowdsourcing can produce. I've been playing with twitter and came across this post from a follower. Check it out.

Carol Arco

The Future of E-Learning is Crowd Sourcing - 5 views

Crowdsourcing, like the Internet doesn't guarantee the "credibility" of the content. So you don't know if information provided by the person contributing is brainless or qualified. For years we wer...

Peter Skillen

How HiveMind's Will Wright plans to crowdsource your happiness (interview) | VentureBeat - 0 views

    Will Wright's games from SimCity to The Sims have sold more than 100 million units. That's why people are paying attention to his new startup and game idea, HiveMind. The Berkeley, Calif.-based company is focused on "personal gaming," or a kind of title that can customize itself for the individual player, taking into account aspects of a player's real-life situation as elements of the game.
Peter Skillen

[STUDY] How Hyperconnectivity Affects Young People - 0 views

    A new study released today by Pew sheds light on the lurking, albeit very real notion that we all not-so-secretly fear: there are actual consequences to the hyperconnected lifestyle that many 21st century millennial Americans live! But calm down, it's not all frowny-face emoticons and Sherry Turkle-esque Alone Together narratives.
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