Slow Tech

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David Spencer's Education Paragon is a free educational resource portal helping David Spencer's secondary school students, their parents and teaching colleagues with understanding, designing, applying and delivering assessment, curriculum, educational resources, evaluation and literacy skills accurately and effectively. This wiki features educational resources for Indigenous Aboriginal education, field trips for educators, law and justice education, music education and outdoor, environmental and experiential education. Since our web site launch on September 27, 2006, online site statistics and web rankings indicate there are currently 1,888 pages and 20,185,651 page views using 7.85 Gig of bandwidth per month. Pages are written, edited, published and hosted by Brampton, Ontario, Canada based educator David Spencer. On social media, you may find David as @DavidSpencerEdu on Twitter, as DavidSpencerdotca on and DavidSpencer on Prezi. Please send your accolades, feedback and resource suggestions to David Spencer. Share on social media with the hashtag #EducationParagon. Thank you for visiting. You may contact David Spencer here.

The following resources are helpful to parents and teachers:

  1. Book: Supporting Successful Transition from Primary to Secondary School by Tina Rae (2014)
  2. Book: Book: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv (2008)
  3. Book: Digital Tools for Teaching: 30 E-tools for Collaborating, Creating, and Publishing across the Curriculum by Steve Johnson (2013)
  4. DVD video: Canadian Popular Music in the '60's, '70's & '80's by EMI Music Canada (2012)
  5. DVD video: Canada: A People's History produced by Mark Starowicz (2001).
  6. Book: Fire in the Bones: Bill Mason and the Canadian Canoeing Tradition by James Raffan (1999)

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Slow Tech

  1. "Slow Tech" Video by Joe Kraus April 19, 2012
  2. We’re creating a culture of distraction by Joe Kraus
    1. We are creating and encouraging a culture of distraction where we are increasingly disconnected from the people and events around us and increasingly unable to engage in long-form thinking. People now feel anxious when their brains are unstimulated.
    2. We are losing some very important things by doing this. We threaten the key ingredients behind creativity and insight by filling up all our “gap” time with stimulation. And we inhibit real human connection when we prioritize our phones over our the people right in front of us.
    3. What can we do about it? Is this path inevitable or can balance be restored?
  3. is an attempt to aggregate resources on the downsides of technology and it’s effects on human health and development. Whilst not at all against the use of technology, it is an attempt to explore and try to understand some of problems arising due to the continued (over)use of technology. Strategies to avoiding the downsides and enjoying a healthy balance between using technology and being able to ‘switch off’.
  4. Slow Technology Movement Definition
  5. The Slow Technology Movement by Chappell Ellison- Oct 14, 2011. A modern world that promises the ease of logging in and staying connected comes with a price: computers and cell phones are now as addictive as a pack of cigarettes. “Technology should be on the list of the top reasons why people divorce, along with money, sex and parenting,” says therapist Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill
  6. Slow Tech: An Idea Whose Time Has Come by KAT ASCHARYA July 19, 2012. More and more people report feeling overwhelmed by the omnipresence of online activities and the expectation to be constantly accessible. It's wreaking havoc on schedules, ruining a full night's sleep and disrupting relationships.
  7. Slow Technology – Designing for Reflection published in the Journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing Volume 5 Issue 3, August 2001 As computers are increasingly woven into the fabric of everyday life, interaction design may have to change – from creating only fast and efficient tools to be used during a limited time in specific situations, to creating technology that surrounds us and therefore is a part of our activities for long periods of time. We present slow technology: a design agenda for technology aimed at reflection and moments of mental rest rather than efficiency in performance. The aim of this paper is to develop a design philosophy for slow technology, to discuss general design principles and to revisit some basic issues in interaction design from a more philosophical point of view. We discuss examples of soniture and informative art as instances of slow technology and as examples of how the design principles can be applied in practice.

Illustration by Asher Sarlin.

Effects of Internet Technology

  1. What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains [Epipheo.TV] Most of us are on the Internet on a daily basis and whether we like it or not, the Internet is affecting us. It changes how we think, how we work, and it even changes our brains. We interviewed Nicholas Carr, the author of, "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains," about how the Internet is influencing us, our creativity, our thought processes, our ideas, and how we think.
  2. Nomophobia Definition
  3. Help for those suffering from Nomophobia
  4. Teachers Lament the Age of Distraction from Some 77% of advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers surveyed say that the internet and digital search tools have had a “mostly positive” impact on their students’ research work. But 87% say these technologies are creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans” and 64% say today’s digital technologies “do more to distract students than to help them academically.”
  5. Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say By Matt Richtel in teh New York Times November 1, 2012 "Scholars who study the role of media in society say no long-term studies have been done that adequately show how and if student attention span has changed because of the use of digital technology. But there is mounting indirect evidence that constant use of technology can affect behavior, particularly in developing brains, because of heavy stimulation and rapid shifts in attention. But nearly 90 percent said that digital technologies were creating “an easily distracted generation with short attention spans."
  6. The Impact Of Technology Reading List An aggregated reading list of the best, in-depth thinking from around the web on the impact of technology and social media, curated by Nathan Jurgenson and Cyborgology.

Keeping Students Focused While Using Technology

  1. 7 Ways To Keep Students Focused While Using Technology by Jeff Dunn on May 5, 2012. "With all of the benefits of technology in the classroom, educators must use caution to ensure that students are focusing on the lesson and not giving in to distractions."
  2. Keep students focused: How technology can help students avoid distractions by Jessica Pozerski May 18, 2010. "While content filtering technologies cannot guarantee students will not daydream in class or become distracted in other ways, they can help educators ensure their students aren't focused on web surfing when they should be focused on a lesson, lecture or specific assignment. They also protect students from accidentally accessing websites that are inappropriate for student viewing. Security solutions can do more than just protect your network from viruses; they can keep your students focused."
  3. How to Keep Kids Engaged in Class By Tristan De Frondeville March 8, 2009. "Getting all your students focused, eager, and on task at the beginning of class is challenging enough. Equally problematic, once you have them locked in to the lesson, is watching them zone out. There's nothing unusual about that. After all, anyone who has to sit through a long routine -- including a teacher's presentation -- is bound to drift off at some point."
  4. Focus on Student Engagement First, Technology Second By Ashley Cromwell on March 13, 2013 we assume that we need fun graphics, animations, and advanced technology to keep the attention of 21st century students. While technology in the classroom helps to involve students and develop fundamental skills, November aptly expressed that the true opportunity for learning is in the accessibility of information, not in the devices themselves. He pointed out that even the common phrasing of “one to one” refers to students and devices rather than emphasizing the connections and capabilities enabled by them – “one to the world” would be a better way of describing such initiatives. Because the answers to the questions students are asking today can be found quickly through internet searches, the focus in education must shift from giving students answers to showing them how to find them on their own. November synthesized this need well when he explained, “If you give kids the world, teach them how to use it.”

EdCamp Hamilton Discussion

On Saturday May 4, 2013, 140 educators, parents and business leaders from across Ontario and beyond gathered at Ancaster Senior Public School in Hamilton, Ontario for EdCamp Hamilton. Follow @EdCampHam and the Twitter stream. One of many EdCamp Hamilton Discussions during the day focused on slowtech and technology addiction in students.

Links shared during our discussion include:

  • Video: Partial Attention / Multitasking produced by Jane Mitchinson. An interview with former Apple and Microsoft exec Linda Stone and University of Michigan Psychologist Dr. David Meyer on multi-tasking and continuous partial attention