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#WVUCommMOOC Session 4, Lecture 4

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Elizabeth Cohen

on 10 October 2016

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Transcript of #WVUCommMOOC Session 4, Lecture 4

WVUCommMooc Elizabeth L. Cohen, Ph.D. Conscious Computing
"Private Zones" Pomodoro Technique Refining
Multitasking Skills LindaStone.net decide on the task to be done
set the pomodoro (timer) to 25 minutes
work on the task until the timer rings;
record each completed pomodoro with an X
take a short break to do what you want (3-minutes)
every 4 "pomodori" take a longer break (15–30 min) "...multi-tasking involves a method of monitoring and responding to the sea of information around us. Students need help distinguishing between being off task and handling multiple tasks simultaneously. They must learn to recognize the relationship between information coming at them from multiple directions and making reasonable hypotheses and models based on partial, fragmented, or intermittent information (all part of the world they will confront in the workplace). They need to know when and how to pay close attention to a specific input as well as when and how to scan the environment searching for meaningful data." - (Jenkins et al., 2010) Building Multitasking Skills Farmer vs. Hunter Hypothesis (Hartmann, 1995) Farmer tasks require localized,
focused attention

Hunter tasks require scanning to
find evidence of prey

Schools have been designed to create “farmers" that ideally focus on one thing

Schools adapted to the needs of "hunters" would also value the ability to scan the environment for meaningful information Some emerging research suggests that by practicing
some cognitive games, we can train our prefrontal cortex to switch tasks faster
Improves mulitasking productivity
Strengthens ability to resist distraction Video Games as Cognitive Enhancers Brain Training Exercise Blocking Productivity Software This software might not address
the roots of the problem Blocking software disables parts of the computer to block out unwanted Internet distractions and diversions Requires users to reboot their computer in order to restore access to restricted activities

Examples: Freedom (blocks the Internet)
Anti-Social (blocks certain social websites) Screen Apnea - a temporary absence or suspension of breathing,
or shallow breathing while performing activities in front of a
Triggers stress responses from sympathetic nervous system
Makes sustained attention more difficult

The remedy?
Be mindful of how attention is being distributed, and the body is responding (various biofeedback tools can help)
BREATHE Session 4, Lecture 4 Advice from Joanne Cantor's book, "Conquering Cyberoverload" Shut off social media (e.g., e-mail, cellphones, etc.) and schedule breaks to check-in every few hours

Let people know when you'll be available so they will better tolerate your withdrawal

Jot down irrelevant thoughts or bookmark unrelated
websites for later Short periods of uninterrupted focus, followed by shorter periods of free time to multitask Procedure: Train yourself to be mindful of whether what you are doing is working toward your goal or not. Eventually, you shouldn't need the clock Take Breaks Mental concentration can become fatigued

Symptoms of mental fatigue include interference
like drifting and daydreaming

Taking short breaks can refresh attention and improve
task productivity--even media-related breaks (One study found that breaks to look at cute animal
pictures might do the trick) A number of different web and mobile cognitive exercise applications (free and by subscription) are making
have made similar games available to the public One study found that after playing a shooter game, brain showed electrical activity consistent with processes that enhance visual attention and suppress distracting information A growing body of research suggests that playing immersive video games can improve
people's ability to focus (Spence et al, 2012) Two Strategies for Coping
in Environments with High Levels
of Media Interference 1. Reduce Media Interference 2. Enhance Brain's Ability to Successfully
Deal with Interference Computers extend our minds, but our are bodies compromised Workspace Private Zones
Take Breaks
Blocking Productivity Software Conscious Computing
Brain Training Exercises Discussion Questions 1. Which methods of coping with media interference would you be the most likely to adopt, and why?

2. This lecture did not address ways of coping or preventing negative effects of media interference on our personal relationships. What strategies would you recommend to make sure that media multitasking doesn't interfere with our face-to-face communication?

3. Do you think the current educational models found in schools that emphasize focused attention, rather than continuous partial attention should prevail? Why or why not? Coping With Technology Overload Google Glass: The new face of media multitasking
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