Sunday, June 15, 2008

What is the Internet Doing to Our Brains?

Picked this up from Will Richardson’s blog. This article from Nicholas Carr needs to be read and contemplated by all Internet educators.

I know exactly what Nicholas Carr means. More and more I find myself engaged in what I call horizontal learning (skimming multiple resources, multitasking), and have to force myself to engage in vertical learning (prolonged focus on a single topic or resource.) There is indeed a change afoot.

Implications? Identify, make explicit, and teach both approaches. See slides 13- 16 of this presentation for more on horizontal v vertical learning.

Addendum to this post

On a related note I just came across this article today - Society Hard-wired for a fall. More on what computer use may be doing to our brains.

4 comments:

deliab said...

Michael,
Thanks so much for the links to these two articles. Whilst recognising the online tendency to skim described by Nicholas Carr, I eagerly read to the end of each article, savouring every word. I sense deep changes are happening and welcome as much as discussion and reflection as possible.

Study in Australia said...

Thanks for the nice article links. I got a very nice read. Interesting stuffs. :)

michael chalk said...

Thanks for this Michael.

i like the quote in Nicholas Carr's article, where he says he knows how HAL was feeling as his mind drained away.

i think i too have developed "bad reading habits" on the interweb, and find myself passively browsing for hours. So passively that it can be a stretch to leave a comment on someone's podcast.

Often i'll have a strained brain from trying to soak up all the information .. because i forget to step away and redraw my own mental models, consciously.

(i think this is similar to what you've said about vertical and horizontal).

kind regards, michael

ps: interesting to hear your words read by the odiogo machine ;-]

Michael said...

I know what you mean by the passively browsing syndrome. But I have been consciously trying to drag myself out of that lately. I think it was in Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody that I read that he tries to make 2 new comments on others' work for every new blog post, or photo etc that he posts. Kind of contributing to the dialogue rather than just promoting your own work/ideas.

So far so good!