Matt makes his point on memory and attention in a very entertaining way
(…note the solid applause and genuine excitement at the end of the clip on math)


Very clever use of technology by Matthew Weathers -- October 2011

— from


From DSC:
And, due to the date, check out the Symbols of Thanksgiving as well!  🙂



The Digital Revolution and Higher Education — from the Pew Research Center by Kim Parker, Amanda Lenhart, and Kathleen Moore
College Presidents, Public Differ on Value of Online Learning


This report is based on findings from a pair of Pew Research Center surveys conducted in spring 2011. One is a telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 2,142 adults ages 18 and older. The other is an online survey, done in association with the Chronicle of Higher Education, among the presidents of 1,055 two-year and four-year private, public, and for-profit colleges and universities.

Here is a summary of key findings…


From DSC:
First, [perhaps it’s in the appendices, but] how many of the people out in the public who were surveyed have actually taken an online class? If so, how many classes (each) have they taken and when did they take them? From whom did they take them? My guess is that most of them have never taken a class online.

Secondly, I wonder how many people thought that the telephone was a useful instrument/communication device shortly after it was introduced? Perhaps not too many…but did you use one today? Yesterday? I bet you did. I did…several times; and I bet that the same will be true of online learning (as online learning didn’t really begin to be used until the late 90’s).

The question is not whether online learning will blow away the face-to-face classroom, it’s when this will occur…? There will be many reasons for this, but the key one will be that you are putting up a team of specialists instead of using just one person. If they are reeeeaaaalllyy good (and a rare talent), that person can do the trick for now; but their success/job will continue to be increasingly difficult to perform, as they continue to pick up new hats each year, as the students’ attention spans and expectations continue to change, as lower cost models continue to emerge, etc, etc…

As Christensen, Horn, and Johnson assert, the innovation is taking place in the online learning world, and it will eventually surpass what’s possible (if it hasn’t already) in the face-to-face classrooms.



From Daniel Christian: Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes.

From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did for the Title II Conference at Calvin College back on August 11, 2011
It is aimed at K-12 audiences.


Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a K-12 audience)


From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did today for the Calvin College Fall 2011 Conference.
It is aimed at higher education audiences.


 Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a higher ed audience)


Note from DSC:

There is a great deal of overlap here, as many of the same technologies are (or will be) hitting the K-12 and higher ed spaces at the same time. However, there are some differences in the two presentations and what I stressed depended upon my audience.

Pending time, I may put some audio to accompany these presentations so that folks can hear a bit more about what I was trying to relay within these two presentations.

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Excerpt from Digital Dilemmas: The Data Deluge, Attention Deficits and The Future of Books

Given people are creating and receiving an exponentially growing amount of information per day and time is not expanding, author Adrian Ott on Fast Company suggests we are in an “attention arms race.” (emphasis DSC)  Despite the massive information processing power of the human brain, the senior executives we work with confirm this challenge.  Even with faster computers and an ever-expanding array of mobile devices to receive and process information anytime, anywhere, people struggle to keep up. Often we try to multitask, but according to McKinsey on information overload, multitasking is not productive or creative.

From DSC:
This is why I think it is getting — and will continue to get — harder to get someone’s attention (i.e. getting through what I call “the gate”);
and if I can’t get through the gate, I can’t make it into someone’s short-term or working memory. If that’s the case, I have zero chance of getting into their long-term memory (i.e. zero return on investment.)

This is not only true for students, but I believe that it’s true for everyone.  For example, how many human billboards (waiving some type of signage or wearing some type of clothing/costume) have you seen recently? I see 1-2 a day. I created the graphic last summer to illustrate this potential issue:

If attention can be visualized as a it getting harder to get through the gate?


 Some of my proposed solutions to this issue include:

  • Help students identify and tap into their passions — writing, video editing, photography, singing, acting, acting as a copyright expert, subject matter researcher, etc.
  • Use digital storytelling
  • Use educational technologies that engage (iPads, interactive whiteboards, Garageband, etc.)
  • Keep everything brief — chunk content up into bite-sized pieces
  • Offer students a choice of assignments, media and let them select what they prefer to work with
  • Offer content feeds that are engaging in order to keep content constantly streaming into a student’s short-term memory; over time, the main points make their way into the student’s long-term memory





Reinventing the Technology of Human Accomplishment — by Gary Hamel; from the University of Phoenix Distinguished Guest Video Lecture Series.

From DSC:
No matter whether you agree with what Gary is saying or not, can you imagine if every lecture contained this type of team-based assistance in creating the motion graphics, recording the video, editing the video, executing proper sound design principles, etc.? Most likely such an endeavor would be more achievable/successful when producing content in a controlled, studio type of environment — and then presenting it online (vs. trying to do this in front of a live classroom/audience/face-to-face.)

Anyway, very powerful communication channels here! Excellent use of motion graphics to backup his message. A transcript with bolded headings and colored main points would be great too. By the way, wouldn’t it be cool for “call outs” to appear — somewhat in an augmented reality sort of way — when a main point was just made?!

Gary Hamel -- Reinventing Managment for the 21st Century

Description of video:
Watch Gary Hamel, celebrated management thinker and author and co-founder of the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX), make the case for reinventing management for the 21st century. In this fast-paced, idea-packed, 15-minute video essay, Hamel paints a vivid picture of what it means to build organizations that are fundamentally fit for the future—and genuinely fit for human beings. It’s time to radically rethink how we mobilize people and organize resources to productive ends. Here’s how we start.

This video is an excerpt from the University of Phoenix Distinguished Guest Video Lecture Series.


Sample screen shots:






From DSC:
Again, can you imagine the bump in engagement/attention spans if a faculty member could be backed up by these types of motion graphics!?


From DSC:
I realize that many of the for-profits are already using teams of specialists…but many others are not.


–Originally saw this at the
Higher Education Management blog by Keith Hampson

Better than free: How value is generated in a free copy world


Brief summary/notes from DSC:
Per Kevin Kelly (Feb 2011), the future is about 6 verbs:

  1. Screening — we are moving from being “people of the book” to “people of the screen”
  2. Interacting
  3. Sharing
  4. Accessing — not owning
  5. Flowing — streams/flows of data and information, tags, clouds, not pages, real time, always on (24x7x3765), everywhere, no sense of being completed, feeds, flows of data, books will operate in this same environment
  6. Generating — not copying; pressure on things to become free; value is in things that cannot be copied (easily or cheaply). We want “easy to pay for but hard to copy”; things such as:
  • immediacy
  • personalization
  • authentication
  • findability
  • embodiment
  • interpretation
  • accessibility
  • attention

Originally from — and see:

  • Gerd Leonhard at the Futures
  • …and with thanks to O’Reilly for publishing this!

Attentionomics: Captivating Attention in the Age of Content Decay -- Steve Rubel

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EDUCAUSE Review - Top-Ten Articles of 2010 | If this e-mail message does not display correctly or hyperlinks are missing, please type into your browser's address bar.
The ten most widely read online EDUCAUSE Review articles from 2010 focused on innovation, current IT issues, individual/collaborative learning, attention, openness, the future campus, scholarly publishing, and libraries.

In case you missed them in 2010:


Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams

Bret L. Ingerman, Catherine Yang, and the 2010 EDUCAUSE Current Issues Committee

Larry Sanger

Howard Rheingold

danah boyd

Brian Lamb and Jim Groom

Diana G. Oblinger

Rick Anderson

Keith Webster

David Wiley

mindfulness in the digital age.

…we are in the midst of one of the most profound cognitive shifts in our intellectual history, moving from a “deep attention” to a “hyper attention” society (emphasis DSC), to quote Duke University professor Katherine Hayles. She defines “deep attention” as the cognitive preference for input from only a single information stream, to be engaged for an extended period. “Hyper attention,” by contrast, is marked by a hunger for a high level of stimulation and a desire to shift rapidly among different information streams.

From DSC:
In the near future, we may long for the days of being able to dive deeply into an item — giving it our full attention (and then again, we may not!). But to me, this type of deep focus will take practice and a concerted effort to maintain this ability; because with the information overload coming at us, to give our attention to something is asking a lot. Often times, you have but a split second to get someone’s attention. I wonder…how many people never made it to this point in this posting for example…? Probably quite a few.

If attention can be visualized as a it getting harder to get through the gate?

Educause Review: Sept/Oct 2010 -- Attention, Engagement, Next Generation

EDUCAUSE Review Magazine, Volume 45, Number 5, September/October 2010

Attention, Engagement, and the Next Generation

Howard Rheingold

If we want to discover how we can engage students as well as ourselves in the 21st century, we must move beyond skills and technologies. We must explore also the interconnected social media literacies of attention, participation, cooperation, network awareness, and critical consumption.

Danah Boyd
The future of Web 2.0 is about streams of content. The goal today is to be attentively aligned—”in flow”—with these information streams, to be aware of information as it flows by, grabbing it at the right moment when it is most relevant, valuable, entertaining, or insightful.
Malcolm Brown, with Mark Auslander, Kelly Gredone, David Green, Bruce Hull, and Walt Jacobs
How can faculty use technology and innovative pedagogical methods in their courses to make their students’ learning experiences richer and more meaningful—to capture, retain, and sustain student engagement?
Veronica Diaz, Cindy Jennings, Kelvin Bentley, P. B. Garrett, Barron Koralesky, Christina Royal, and David Starrett
Electronic books, mobile computing, and open content are three mature, robust, and quite approachable technology innovations holding much promise for attracting students’ attention and thereby supporting deeper student engagement with learning.
Diana G. Oblinger
Improving college readiness and completion for the next generation is a grand challenge for society. Although there are many ways to approach this challenge, applying the innovative capabilities of information technology must be one. We have many of the tools, policies, and technologies in hand.

If attention can be visualized as a it getting harder to get through the gate?

Also relevant here is the following graphic from All Kinds of of Minds’ e-learning module on attention

Attention -- what is it?

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