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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Are my students turning into digital goldfish?!

One group of my students is driving me crazy with their short attention span.  Based on this article, spending too much time on the Internet can affect our concentration.  This is just a news article, not solid research, but maybe they do have a point...

I repeated homework directions several times for this particular group.  They show up next week, most of them (thank goodness, not all) totally clueless.  In fact, several were vocal about my refusal to accept an assignment that was due before class (and they were told it was due before class, not in class).  I firmly squashed those rude protests, pointing out that oral directions were clear, the policy is stated in the course syllabus, and several of their classmates confirmed both oral and written directions.

This time, I again clearly stated directions and asked them to write down assignments and deadlines.  Next week, they show up and quite a few of them are still clueless!  As an instructor, I am always willing to admit that maybe I didn't provide clear directions because what sounds crystal clear to me may or may not be clear to others.  However, they had THEIR notes this time!

So I decided to take one more step -- stated directions in class, made them write down my directions, and sent a follow-up email, just to cover all bases.  So far, three students emailed, asking for directions.  My answer?  Go. check. email.

Just a few minutes ago, I get another email from a student who was asked to check email.  S/he read the first paragraph that addressed her previous question.  Instead of reading the second paragraph, she emailed me!!!  My answer?  Go. check. email!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

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