Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Every classroom trainer has faced the scourge of the BlackBerry: the participant whose attention is focused more on her handheld than on the task at hand. With our clients' support, we generally bar the devices from our learning sessions, which are all about engagement and interaction -- what's happening here and now.
The current Newsweek has a terrific article about the cognitive effects of frequent interruptions. Although many BlackBerry fans maintain that their habit doesn't harm their thinking, lots of scientific studies beg to differ. Distraction interferes with memory, problem-solving, and creativity. So-called multitasking actually means not doing several things at once, but switching rapidly among them, to the detriment of all.
So the CrackBerry fan, while telling himself he's being efficient, is actually functioning with one frontal lobe tied behind his back. Which may be why he doesn't even realize he's missing things, like that really useful learning that's going on right in front of him. Hello?