Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lee Crockett on the Digital Generation

Oh Canada...

It is always nice to start off a conference with a good inspired and inspiring presenter. Lee Crockett Started by explaining just how much information is in the world. Physical information that is....some extraordinary number, 5 exabytes (v. big), everyone like hyperbole it the morning. That wasn't the main focus of the talk, he basically wanted to say in order to understand the digital generation you have to understand change.

Actually that is not strictly correct. It is the rate of change that matters. Our students view text differently than we do. They see in an F pattern for example, like this.

Now that has some really important imlplications for presenting not just online material where the original research came from but for any written material this group (in general) are reading. The first example entering my mind was examination papers. They are a nightmare of confusing text with a lack of supporting images.

Crockett went on to discuss the importance of attention and illustrated it with a now famous "change blindness" video. Nicely done, leave the audience thinking they really had a fun time, but punch the important point home - attention is only part of the picture. Attention is moderated by what we as teachers regard as important. He called it the tyranny of the urgent. I love that. So should you. I try to teach my students to be aware of everything from the meaning in the text they read to the subtleties of the writers intentions. Great keynote.