The video assigned for this week’s blog prompt was a humorous way to describe the distractibility that children and adults face due to the accessibility of technology. When posed with the question, “Is the Internet really a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions?,” I have to argue that it is dependent on the individual. Like many of my classmates have stated, the use of technology requires self-discipline, time management and self awareness. Sage provides suggestions for increased productivity in her blog like “putting your phone away, giving yourself deadlines, closing extra tabs on your browser, and preventing information overload by setting time limits for research.” I can relate to these suggestions. Each week, I often find myself writing blogs for EC&I 833 with focus on connecting my blogs to assigned readings in addition to my classmates responses. This has often left me feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information I want to include and unfortunately, short on time. Therefore, setting time limits for research is of use to me in my studies. In addition to this suggestion, I have also noticed that putting my phone where it is out of reach and unable to distract me has increased my productivity and ability to be “present” in my daily tasks and relationships. As stated, two suggestions from Sage’s blog are of use to me in my work and personal life. For someone else, it may be different. I feel like it depends on the individual, their learning style, ability to focus, ability to ignore distractions and the severity of the task at hand.
It is clear that the Internet has the ability to distract individuals from tasks at hand and conversations with others. The multitasking associated with the use of technology can give it’s use a bad reputation. However, it is important to understand the benefits that technology can provide it’s users. Over the course of EC&I 833, we have witnessed the productivity that tools like Google docs, Twitter and Zoom can provide for students and teachers, alike. Research methods for learners are literally, right at peoples fingertips with access to smart phones and the Internet. I echo my classmate Scott when he states the following,
“Given everything that we know, both good and bad about the internet, one thing is for certain – digital citizenship is more important now than ever and needs to be taught (by parents and teachers) starting at an early age.”
I believe that it is up to parents and educators to teach our future generations how to responsibly use technology and ways in which they can prevent it from hindering productivity in both their work and personal lives. This week, my classmate Katie posted an excellent article addressing this issue. “Balance in the Digital Age” by Jim Steyer outlines the importance of families understanding how addictions to technology can promote multitasking and thus, negatively affect child development and human connections. Steyer stresses the importance of developing strategies (similar to those outlined early in this post) to “maintain humanity and ensure that while we are all connected electronically, we do not lose our ability for human connection.” In an age where productivity and human connection can be so easily lost to a world of social media posts and text messages, it is important to teach society how to be responsible and productive, digital citizens.