While being sick and bedridden would drive most people to watch their favorite movies or catch up on the latest TV series on HULU, I most often find myself watching TED talks. As today is one of those days where I’m stuck at home, I wanted to share a great talk by Jason Fried about “Why work doesn’t happen at work.”
Fried’s talk hits home with an idea that many people can probably relate to; there are far too many distractions at work to allow real work to get done. As Fried puts it, “the door to the office is like a CusinArt, shredding your day into a million bits.” He points out that time spent on Facebook and Twitter today are the equivalent of the 15 minute smoking breaks in the 50s, and that it isn’t these distractions that are causing problems at work. Rather, the problems are M&Ms: managers and meetings.
The real distractions at work come from how your day gets fragmented into face-to-face interactions that remove you from your working environment. While this can seem productive at first, work, like sleep, happens in stages, where you have to progress through the early ones to get through the deep ones. If you are interrupted in those early stages, you don’t make it to the deeper, more productive ones. Fried’s talk is quite provocative, and he ultimately suggests a few strategies to make workplaces better.
Check out the full post for 16 minutes of great quotations like: “You can hide instant messages; you can’t hide your manager.”
I am constantly looking around for research that investigates the role of technology in learning, and the recent snowfall in Seattle has allowed me to hide in my room and spend lots of time doing just that. In my search, I came across the Economist Intelligence Unit’s joint report with the New Media Consortium titled “The future of higher education: how technology will shape learning.” This document was a great read, covering a wide survey of higher education administrators as well as industry professionals, all interested in the convergence of education and technology. The report itself is a 32 page document, with the first half allocated to survey analysis and the second half serving as an appendix with results displayed in graphs.
In my opinion, this white paper is a fantastic compliment to the New Media Literacies white paper that was authored by Henry Jenkins, Ravi Purushatma, Katherine Clinton, Margaret Weigel, and Alice J. Robinson earlier this year. While the NML paper has a micro focus, examining what skills are necessary in a mediated society and media education, the EIU/NMC paper focuses on how technology itself is affecting the course of education, reconstructing disciplinary boundaries, and allowing for innovation in and out of the classroom. I would highly suggest reading the NML paper if you haven’t yet, especially in tandem to this.
Sometimes it seems like many national holidays celebrate things that should be more commonplace in our society.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrates the fight for civil rights of all individuals in our country.
St. Valentine’s Day celebrates the beauty of love.
Earth Day celebrates the resources our planet offers and encourages us to be mindful of how we use them.
Mother’s + Father’s Days celebrate the people who brought us in to this world & (often) helped shape us into who we are.
Thanksgiving Day is perhaps one of the most controversial holidays, though it was started to celebrate how the Native American people helped the pilgrims survive through their first year here.
So as you gather with others on this Thanksgiving, take time to be mindful of how the people in your life (not just the ones around you) help you to survive each day. Then, remember that nothing is stopping you from being thankful for them each day of the year, or better yet, letting them know.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Let’s celebrate our holidays more often.
A special thanks to those of you who help me to survive each day.
Dear Professor Davidson,
In your recent HASTAC post, “Facebook’s Messages may not be the right answer but it is the right question,” you bring to light a very important issue that plagues millions of people in today’s world: what is a better system [than email] for communicating with one another in the digital age? While you point at Facebook’s Messages as a system asking that question (and perhaps I’ll agree with you a bit there), I must respectfully disagree with a number of the points you make. Continue reading
One of my favorite things about being in school is learning names for concepts that I am interested in but don’t fully grasp. “Social capital” is the most recent of such terms, with my foray into literature about social capital beginning over a week ago as I read for my HCDE 501 class (Theoretical Foundations of Human-Centered Design & Engineering). While class discussion was illuminating in its own right, it was the articles that were shared by my peers after class that truly piqued my interest. The most interesting of such articles was “Is There Social Capital in a Social Network Site?: Facebook Use and College Students’ Life Satisfaction, Trust and Participation,” which was written by Sebastian Valenzuela, Namsu Park and Kerk F. Kee and appeared in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication in 2009.