About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3509-3514
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1773

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain


We are witnessing "large-scale shifts in attention practices and norms" (Howard Rheingold). We are seeing new ways how people deploy their attention. We've been re-allocating our attention in response to new communication media for a long time.
All learning starts with the ability to focus and many of us are experiencing limited attention spans. We are less attentive than ever, and studies are questioning what role the digital and virtual worlds may be playing in this. Several studies have shown a link between a lack of attention and excessive Internet use.

The inattentive type of ADHD is defined, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual--IV, as the presence, for at least six months, of the following symptoms:
* fail to give attention to details
* difficulty in focusing attention
* unable to listen to words
* difficulty in making structures
* avoiding sustained mental effort

Short attention spans essentially means that the nature of reading has changed. We have lost patience with the complexity that words present and do not find them worth capturing or holding onto anymore. According to a 2008 study commissioned by the British Library online readers are "promiscuous, diverse and volatile." Information seeking behavior is "horizontal, bouncing, checking and viewing in nature." We scan, flick and 'power browse' our way through digital content. The mind is now accustomed to take in information the way the Internet distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of images. Until the 1970s we went diving in the sea of words. Now we zip along the surface on a Jet Ski. We skim, scroll and scan.

Purpose: achieve depth:
Our presentation is a practicum that will make us probe rather than skim, and think vertically rather than browse. It is this lack of probing that motivated us to set out and enhance our 'knowing' of the world. We are showing a process that is more vertical than horizontal or superficial, and aims at understanding the person's core values and beliefs and discovering his or her innermost thoughts and feelings.
We are presenting a method where participants exercise complete control over what is an 'interaction with' rather than a 'reception of' information. As we see it, receptivity in the passive, absorptive, open-to-what-you-may-have-to-teach-me sense is a dated stance toward learning. Active, especially interactive, is what is "in." We are connected in a matrix of individual competencies: creating and exchanging information online. We're knowledge workers forming knowledge content.

Method: reading and writing:
One central pillar of knowing is reading. Words extend our horizons toward new scenarios of being. By continuously taking words further on a trajectory of construction and deconstruction of meaning, we create a "living text" among ourselves that is simultaneously "written" and "read." By taking words further and deeper, we engineer an inner landscape in the group. We interactively create an inter-subjective space where we can essentially be ourselves.

Our method can be used as an approach to understanding a group's mental landscape. It is underpinned by the idea that a group's interaction has an unfolding and transforming potential. The image and ideas people hold of themselves and their world have a fundamental impact on the group's outcome.

[1] Rheingold, Howard. (2014) "Net Smart." M.I.T. Press, Cambridge MA.
[2] Morgan, Gareth. (1993). "Imaginization." Sage.
author = {Dugal, S. and Bailey, B. and Carnevale, S. and Castrovillari, F. and Chernykh, G. and Dawber, E. and Denver, M. and Fingado, M. and Gioielli, S. and Green, N. and Maine, A. and Maloney, J. and Oliveira, B. and Pagano, A. and Swanholm, J. and Tomaselli, J. and Weinreb, E. and Wetterauw, K. and Yee, J. and Zonfrilli, J. and Arsenault, L. and Liang, P. and Okoulou-Kantchati, R. and Garcia, F. and Ventura, M. and Wright, A. and Yiu, R.},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1773},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1773},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {3509-3514}}
AU - S. Dugal AU - B. Bailey AU - S. Carnevale AU - F. Castrovillari AU - G. Chernykh AU - E. Dawber AU - M. Denver AU - M. Fingado AU - S. Gioielli AU - N. Green AU - A. Maine AU - J. Maloney AU - B. Oliveira AU - A. Pagano AU - J. Swanholm AU - J. Tomaselli AU - E. Weinreb AU - K. Wetterauw AU - J. Yee AU - J. Zonfrilli AU - L. Arsenault AU - P. Liang AU - R. Okoulou-Kantchati AU - F. Garcia AU - M. Ventura AU - A. Wright AU - R. Yiu
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1773
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 3509
EP - 3514
ER -
S. Dugal, B. Bailey, S. Carnevale, F. Castrovillari, G. Chernykh, E. Dawber, M. Denver, M. Fingado, S. Gioielli, N. Green, A. Maine, J. Maloney, B. Oliveira, A. Pagano, J. Swanholm, J. Tomaselli, E. Weinreb, K. Wetterauw, J. Yee, J. Zonfrilli, L. Arsenault, P. Liang, R. Okoulou-Kantchati, F. Garcia, M. Ventura, A. Wright, R. Yiu (2016) READING AND WRITING IN THE AGE OF SHORT ATTENTION SPANS, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 3509-3514.