Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interview excerpt

As promised, here's an excerpt from an interview I conducted recently. Gabriella Muglia is a junior at Sweet Briar, and when interviewed, she gave me some of the best responses I could have hoped for. Here's her response to one of my questions. And by the way, I particularly like how she points that technology is not built for just one purpose, and therefore, it can always be a distraction. Maybe that's the problem, then, for teachers who try to use technology in the classroom. Just a thought. I'd be curious to hear what others have to say about it.

Me: Does technology in the classroom (used by either yourself or by other students in class) ever distract you from what you’re supposed to be doing? Please explain.

Muglia: I think this is a given. Even though I am not the kind of student that brings technology to class to intentionally distract myself, I do think that it is virtually (no pun intended) impossible for most students to exclusively use their devices for educational purposes; this is partially because of the fact that modern technology is built to be extremely dynamic, so you don't get devices that have been manufactured for one exclusive purpose. However, I definitely think that determining whether or not this is a problem fully depends on the student. For instance, I get pop-up notifications when someone sends me an email or text, but I typically disregard responding unless it looks urgent or requires a simple yes or no answer. Admittedly, I am guilty of sending emails or texts during class on occasion, but if I do send a text, I can still focus on what is being said during the few seconds it takes to respond. I never shut off my attention to what is happening in the classroom. Obviously, there are some students that are unable to do this, probably because they don't care about the class to begin with and they attend classes without much desire to be fully attentive, on a regular basis.

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