Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I'm presently working on an article about "best practices" for technology use in the law school classroom and one of my points is that we need to teach students to "unplug" since the ability to concentrate and engage in deep thinking are key lawyering skills students must learn to develop. Here's a book that supports the premise - Hamlet's Blackberry by journalist William Powers. An excerpt from the NYT's book review:
Powers suggests that evolutionary programming may be partly responsible for the drive that has many of us constantly checking our digital screens. We are wired by nature, he notes, to pay attention to new stimuli, thereby helping us to respond quickly to predators or to nab a potential meal. The biochemical effect of the iPhone ping, in fact, might be injecting my brain with what one scientist calls a “dopamine squirt.”
In other words, marketers have told us we must be connected all the time, and our brains have done the rest. The author worries that our homes, the traditional shelter from the crowd, have been invaded to the point where we may be in danger of no longer connecting deeply with our families, our books and our thoughts.
The solution is to learn to unplug. You can read the rest of the review here.