Is Technology Making Your Attention Span Shorter Than A Goldfish’s?
If you’ve ever found it hard to concentrate on one thing without stopping to check your emails or post to social media, you’re not alone. The average human attention span – how long we can concentrate effectively on a single task – was recently reported by Microsoft to have dropped below the level attributed to goldfish.
This certainly plays to our fears about what the daily flood of social media and emails is doing to us, and to younger generations in particular. However, these figures may be misleading. For one thing, the report contains no real detail for either the goldfish or human attention span beyond the numbers on the web page Microsoft pulled them from.
More importantly, our minds are adaptive systems, constantly reorganising and refocusing our mental faculties to suit the environment. So the idea that our ability…
Somebody screwed up. Or, rather, a whole lot of people and an entire bureaucracy screwed up. On Friday May 12, the WannaCrypt ransomware attack was unleashed upon the world. The well-coordinated cyber-attack targeting Microsoft Windows operating systems infected over 200,000 computers in 150 different countries, with the software demanding ransom payments in 28 different languages. […]
A medida que a tecnologia nos proporciona algo novo, as previsões para um futuro tecnológico vão se alterando. No passado já foi tomado como enfoque inseminação artificial e carros voadores, e hoje, estamos mais voltados para a inteligência artificial.
Vamos tomar como exemplo o livro “Admirável mundo novo” escrito por Aldous Huxley, publicado em 1932. Um livro muito polêmico na época por prever algo muito fora da realidade, tendo em conta que a publicação foi em 1934. O livro retrata uma realidade onde a liberdade sexual é muito bem acentuada, onde o normal é você ter relações com o maior número de pessoas; pessoas são geradas por fertilização in vitro; e religiões são desperdício de tempo. Sim, tais previsões chocaram muita gente, e continuam sendo alvo de críticas por parte de alguns grupos conservadores.
Porém há muitas visões de como seria o futuro com essa exponencial criação de tecnologia. Então aqui vai…
«Each individual experiences the world from their own unique perspective» and «seeing things from a child’s point of view can change everything».
The famous British designer Dominic Wilcox took this into account when he asked children throughout the United Kingdom to think of invention ideas, and when these children’s inventions started coming in, Dominic decided to pick some of the best ones and actually get them manufactured. After they were made, he invited the children to come and explain their inventions.
The article called my attention right away, not only because I’m an aspiring Data scientist, but also because data (big and small), information and knowledge mining/management is the “new oil” – maybe even the oxygen – to the second half of 21st century successful organizations (startups, tech related or not).
It turns out liking science isn’t the same as liking science class.
New reports from sources that advocate for STEM education, found that while teenagers are interested in subjects like physics, biology, and engineering, they tend not to enjoy their in-school classes – based on an online survey of more than 1,500 teens from around the country.
This discrepancy means there’s room both in and out of school to dramatically improve STEM education offerings for teens, mostly by making them more hands-on and engaging.
Some 81 percent of teens said that they were interested in science. Seventy-three percent were interested in biology in particular. But only 37 percent of students said they enjoy their science class, and even fewer — 33 percent — liked biology class. That’s less than the 48 percent who said they enjoyed non-science classes.
The sample was balanced by region and ethnicity. Differences in outcomes by race, ethnicity, and income were tested for significance at the 95 percent confidence interval. All differences noted in the brief and infographic are statistically significant.
While many teens find more hands-on experiences like field trips and experiments to be most compelling, most instruction in science class involves either textbooks or in-class discussion. A chart compares preferred learning styles compared to teaching methods:
The survey also examined the relationship between students’ family income and access to and interest in STEM fields. Lower-income students were less likely to know an adult involved in biology and less likely to participate in a science club.
Overall, more than 80 percent of teens reported that they thought knowing adults in their desired field of work might help them advance, but just about a third actually knew adults in that field.
The authors of the AmGen and Change the Equation report argue that schools should adopt more inquiry-based STEM curricula and that teachers should receive training in how to teach it. They also argue for stronger ties between businesses and community members and schools.
For four billion years, what lived and died on Earth depended on two principles: natural selection and random mutation. Then humans came along and changed everything — hybridizing plants, breeding animals, altering the environment and even purposefully evolving ourselves. Juan Enriquez provides five guidelines for a future where this ability to program life rapidly accelerates. “This is the single most exciting adventure human beings have been on,” Enriquez says. “This is the single greatest superpower humans have ever had.”
We talk about you, you know. Once a month we get the entire service team together and we chat about what sorts of issues we’re resolving and how we can help you better. We don’t just strive to get great scores on our IT support surveys (which is a bonus, because our satisfaction rates are … Continue reading Forgettable Technology: 4 Qualities of Really Great IT| By |Justin Hayman
For lifelong learners and self-made scholars the Internet is a priceless resource, so it’s great to being able to continue your education with these top free online tools:
10. Free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have greatly expanded the educational opportunities for everyone with a computer and an internet connection. These typically free online courses, usually provided by universities and colleges, cover everything from Astronomy to Web Development. MOOCs are a category unto themselves, but there are plenty of individual MOOC providers and platforms to look to, including the universities themselves, such as Stanford Online and MIT Open Courseware. Popular commercial and non-profit organizations that serve up courses from multiple sources include Academic Earth, edX, Class Central, Udacity, Coursera, Udemy, and FutureLearn. If you feel like there are too many free online courses to choose from, don’t worry. Several of the tools and sites below curate courses from MOOCs and other sources into fields of study.
Skillshare is a learning community that connects over a million students and teachers. In fact, anyone can teach a class (typically 30 minutes to 1 hour long) on subjects like crafts, cooking, film, photography, technology, or writing—as long as the class adheres to the site’s publishing guidelines. It’s a good resource for viewing project-based lessons (e.g., designing 3D type and texture) and there are tracks of courses grouped by subject. Over 300 lessons are available for free, but you’ll need a pro subscription to access the 3,000+ full library.
8. University of Reddit
Love Reddit? You can partake in this community’s crowd-sourced online education initiative. Covering standard subjects like art and computer science as well as “fun and games” (e.g., StarCraft II Strategy), University of Reddit is taught by Reddit users. You can also apply to teach a class yourself.
CourseBuffet lets you search and compare hundreds of free MOOCs from over 250 universities. You can search by subject, browse by field, or even see learning paths that organize courses into a bachelor’s degree-level curriculum for you—for example a complete computer science or management path. And it’s all free.
ALISON not only provides free online courses from publishers like Google, Microsoft, MIT, Macmillan, and Cambridge University, the site also offers diploma-level courses. So you can earn a certificate in project management, HR, social work, and other subjects that might be helpful during a job search. Over 750 free diploma and certificate courses are available now, and you can use the site to track your progress and test your skills.
Join over 38 million online learners at Khan Academy, a non-profit MOOC of its own. Their tagline is “you can learn anything,” and you’ll find a wide range of interesting video classes here as well as interactive courses. Track your progress and earn badges to keep learning fun.
3. iTunes U
The iTunes U app for iOS, Mac, or Windows not only lets you access courses from leading schools and other sources on your device, it lets you see and complete course assignments and add notes for each course. The catalog contains hundreds of thousands of resources on various topics, all at your fingertips.
2. Open Culture
Open Culture is a treasure trove for any learner. Currently, the site lists 1,150 free online courses, 725 free movies, 700 free audio books, 800 free ebooks, 200 free textbooks, 300 free language lessons, and 150 free business courses. They’ve grown a lot—and continue to keep growing—since we mentioned them a few years ago. Resources are well classified. This is a great one-stop source for free, enriching media.
1. Lifehacker U
Lifehacker U is a well-curated collection of the best free online classes you can take each semester. One of the best things about it is our own Alan Henry highlights specific courses in each subject field you might be interested in, along with detailed notes and descriptions. So rather than pointing you to, say, Stanford University in general, you’ll see courses from multiple schools in your discipline that are new or returning at this time.
The resources above just scratch the surface of all the places you can learn something new online, of course. But they’re a good place to start and should keep you busy learning all year round.
A recent study published in Psychological Science confronts the issue head-on. Researchers Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer asked students to take notes on a 20-minute video lecture using either longhand or a computer that had been disabled for any other use. They wanted to remove the distractions that have given note-taking on computers lower marks for memory and comprehension.
“Even if you are using computers exactly as they’re supposed to be used, might that still be hurting learning?” is the question Mueller sought out to answer.
The two researchers set up three studies to test various conditions. In the first study, one group of undergraduate college students were told to watch a 20-minute TED Talk on a subject they weren’t likely to know much about and take notes by hand. The other group took notes on the computer.
“Students who took notes on laptops tended to transcribe the content verbatim,” Mueller said. Those students took many more notes, but seemed to process what they heard much less. In a test taken a few minutes after completing the lecture, students who had taken notes using longhand performed much better. The difference was particularly striking on conceptual questions, where students had to take two pieces of information they’d heard in the lecture and synthesize them into a conclusion.
The typing versus handwriting debate recalls a related, heated discussion over whether students should continue to learn handwriting. While the research is not conclusive, several researchers contend that writing by hand stimulates special neural circuits, leading to stronger reading ability, new idea generation and retention of information.
Mueller thinks there’s still hope for digital note-taking, but says students must be taught how to slow down and process information as they take it in. She thinks there could be promise in stylus technology, which would slow the pace at which a person can take notes, but would still allow for digital storage.
Some educators are taking long form notes to new levels, embracing the idea of sketchnotes, in which the ideas presented in a lecture are captured as a combination of words and images.
“I sat through two 45-minute lectures in high school social studies and not only was I super focused because I was doodling, I could also basically give the lecture afterwards,” said Shelley Paul, who at the time was director of learning design at Woodward Academy. “And if I look at the doodle again today for three to four minutes, I can basically remember it all again.”
Paul admits it can be hard to keep up with a fast paced lecture, but even the things she decides not to depict end up getting connected to the images she does draw. She’s been implementing the practice with students who love the freedom to doodle in class and who are making great connections between information in the process.
While unconventional, drawing as note-taking makes sense based on memory research, which shows that if multiple ideas can be condensed into an image, the brain stores all those related ideas as one. The image acts as a zip file for multiple ideas, helping to fit more into the limited short term memory.