Longer than a tweet

the attention economy

I've been thinking about the attention economy this weekend, partly because we will be discussing it in my Media Literacy class, and partly because I am wondering how and whether education should compete in this economy. Should we microslice our lessons into 140 characters or less, shifting focus every few minutes to mimic an online video, pour water over our heads in order to raise awareness? Do we incorporate the more ephemeral forms of media into our classes, in hopes of grabbing the fleeting focus of our students?

Or should we perhaps, as Annie Murphy Paul wrote this week in Slate, recognize that our students' media consumption is teaching them things, but that our students still need to be taught the things they are not receiving from that media--and hence we need to read even more, read even more classics, and work on our students' face-to-face communication skills? And what is more important for students: a one-to-one device, or a one-to-one relationship with a passionate teacher? I know what answer following the money will provide, and it's not the answer I would give. 

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