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Friday 28 August 2015

posted 30 Aug 2015, 15:32 by Stephanie Williams   [ updated 30 Aug 2015, 15:42 ]

As Mark Osborne said in his session a few weeks back, "Technology has the potential to be dangerous and also potentially save us". It's all in the way we use it.

I recently came across an article on our ability to be easily distracted. We can spend whole evenings with a phone in hand, browsing aimlessly with one eye and the other on TV. Outcomes from a recent Microsoft study suggest that today's digital lifestyles are having such a detrimental impact on concentration levels it is leading to 'cognitive failures' left, right and centre! In fact, one study suggests multitasking, such as texting or emailing while supposedly taking part in a complex discussion with colleagues can mean a loss of an average of '10 IQ points' (whatever that looks like!).

Now distractability can be a good thing. Day dreaming can lead to the most creative ideas and can be seen as a virtue: 
http://www.newyorker.com/tech/frontal-cortex/the-virtues-of-daydreaming

It's the overloading the brain with the mindless browsing that is cause of concern. The call for 'non digital breaks' is strong. It was so funny seeing the looks on the faces when the staff all went for a brisk walk around the playground before Monday's meeting a couple of weeks ago, move, breathe, get energised...... yes, we have to model it!

Andy Puddicombe of Headspace fame, AKA Mr Mindfulness, sums it up well: "If we are simply replacing being completely obsessed by not using technology we are still obsessed...... it's the mindful use of technology that's important."

This reminded me of some great tips from parents for parents that we put out in the newsletter a couple of years ago. You may find them useful too:

5 things

1: Laptop where you can see it + Key passwords with us. 
    We are the parents, we don't let them leave the house on their own and so we don't let them wander around the Internet on their own.

2: Know the neighbourhoods they're visiting.
    We give them free access to WBS known systems - ("school")

    We give them access to the ones we are comfortable with - ("A home" + "their mate's place")

    We get them to explain why for new stuff - "Because my mate is on it" is now known as a - ("new part of town")

3: Screen time is screen time.
    TV + PC + mobile = the same thing.
    Can do it any where, any time - yay OR boo!  

4: Keep safe, what does that mean online.
    "On the Internet no-one know's you're a dog"

    Never EVER pass on your own name, address (Wellington), age or Dad's bank account details.

    AND never tell anyone the same about anyone you know (siblings, parents, family, friends ... anyone).

   The key is what they do at their mate's house, not in yours.

5: Creative place 

    Not just consumers but make it do what they want.
    Blog, write, photo, video - the tools are there.

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