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Beeps, Flashing and Vibrations Inhibit Student Focusing

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posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 04:45 PM
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I have to leave for a bit, but want to respond to both smyleegrl and Maxmars when I return. Thank you both for your contributions thus far.




posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 04:52 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


Excellent post!

I loved the way you hit on many different aspects and pulled it all together by stating this:

it isn't about regulations or laws... this one is on "us" to fix.

and you've stumped me.


While I believe that the older generation would like to see things back to the way they were, the younger generations have become accustomed to their technological leashes and can't imagine being without them. Like you mentioned about muting the commercials and speculativeoptimist brought up the anxiety issue of having the technology taken away, I don't believe that the up and coming generations know what they're missing. How can they if they've never experienced a life without screens and buttons? I have to say that I've no hope of things changing for the better unless the sun throws us a curve ball.

I wish that all children were taught yoga or meditation in schools. This might help them understand what they're missing and why it's necessary for healthy development.



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 05:37 PM
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So, if you're a parent, the solution is easy.

Place the computer in a public area of the house. While your children are doing homework, their cell phone is turned off and placed in a drawer until the homework session is done.

Also, your children's cell phones should be place in your bedroom once it's bedtime. Children are awake all night texting each other and the parents are clueless.

Once again, it's time to be a parent



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 05:40 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 

Thanks for coming over smyleegrl




Something else to keep in mind with regards to teens. Young people approx 12-20ish practically "live" in their Limbic System of their brain. This system focuses on answering the question "Am I loved?" All teenagers want acceptance from their peers; one of the reasons high school can be absolute hell. Add to this the constant concern over Facebook comments, text messages, and the rest...its a recipe for disaster.

This may be the reason for today's media connection success, in how it plays to the validation aspect of kids as they navigate their way through developing. It is, by definition, an addiction, and not just mentally, but even physically.



e told someone to "Google" it when they asked him a question he did not know. If we would allow it,

Ha, quite the conditioned response, whether intentional or not. I had not considered the Google issue in one's advice to others when seeking answers. heck I have done the same thing myself, but with different intentions. I would rather someone google a subject when there is much to learn about it and it has varying opinions. This way they can get a broader/deeper understanding of the subject as opposed to me trying to break it down in a few statements. But still, "Googling" it should not be a primary response, imo.

So I've put him on a Sensory Diet. This diet reduces the amount of stimulation he has during critical moments of the day, along with alternatives in place to help him regain focus as needed. (BTW, I use a majority of these with my students as well).

Sounds creative, good for you and them. It seems essential for balance and reminds me of the tide analogy. Like the tides, our minds take in stimulus all day, at some point, we have to let it all settle, like an outgoing tide, leaving room for processing and contemplation or reflection.



Throughout the day, during transition times, he returns to his desk and completes one of his tasks. These tasks include finding the ten beads in some putty, making patterns with pop-beads, using modeling clay to form letters, squeezing and stretching the long muscles of the upper body. As much as possible, we keep the flourescent lights off and use sunlight to illuminate the room. We take frequent "brain breaks" to stretch, even do a couple of yoga poses with deep breathing. You'd be surprised how much your focus improves after a three-minute stretch break.

Awesome, I hope other teachers may learn something like this too. The fluorescence is a whole nuther issue, but I fully agree about their lulling effect. So does you school have a policy about phones in the classrooms, or is it up to the teachers discretion? Are there ever any discussions within your industry about a major overhauling of today's school systems? What are the responses? Are there any plans in the pipeline at this point?

Thanks,
spec



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 06:02 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 

I will check out the article Here, thanks



One night, after dinner, we were going to watch a television show they had been anticipating... and I foolishly engaged in a habit of mine... when the commercials come on, I mute the TV (I hate the sleazy trickery of commercial marketing). I sensed that I had committed some blasphemy against the streaming audio-visual ... they kids were not happy. I asked if they wanted to watch the show or the commercials, they said both.

I felt affirmed that there must be an addictive element to the whole commercial media construct.

I think I have grown allergic to commercials, and the slightest exposure to them irks me to no end! I dropped tv 6 years ago, and I despised the commercials then, so when I run into one now,which they are showing up more and more online, I feel the stress hormones dumped within my own system, and I quickly turn it off or look away.



Here's the problem with new digital appliances like laptops and smartphones (there's really no difference other than size) .. they are being pumped full of distraction toys... toys that should probably only be accessed between the moments of one's life... but since they are always available ... they are accessed constantly.

Distractions, oh yea, perhaps our greatest barrier to cohesive thinking and managing of our lives. Unfortunately, I fell that distractions have become addictive too, and make some feel uneasy in idle moments. it is one thing to seek distractions and another to keep force-feeding them to our senses.



Also, we have disengaged the part of our minds that 'works' to find, process, and retain information. Information is now largely "pumped" to us... requiring only our physical presence to be considered "DELIVERED." And the educational system is loving this.... teaching by video; commercially produced documentaries are offered as part of a curriculum, anything that makes the transfer of knowledge a "one-person" affair... to a lazy teacher "telling you" is all they have to do... your comprehension is your own problem.

Paramount!! This is literally reshaping our brain wiring. I do think visual aid should be more supplemented in the processes, but certainly not the main delivery vehicle. I think more of it may actually help kids learn, by accommodation their current wiring. So do we facilitate the status quo or do we work to reshape it? A little of both perhaps.



Moving out to the indoctrination most of us are subject to by television, our constant companion, our ever-present
"background" provider, we have no moments of introspection aside from the tiny portion of time between laying down and falling asleep.

Introspection, indeed is not only critical for learning, but imo to be a healthy individual. If we don't stop and recognize what is going on within and without, well how can we address any issues of angst? It is important for people to know why they think things, and for them to give a more considerate(time wise) response.



I think our children would grow to enjoy better faculties if they knew what an hour of silence felt like... if they walked in a park, if they learned to be alone without being desperate to 'hear' from someone or something, maybe gardening.... anything that let's you think on your own.

Wanna watch a youngster squirm? I am not saying this is true for all of our youth, but to a significant number. I fear that this natural and necessary ability is fading out of reality amongst so many kids. Not only is it foreign to many, but could probably be downright disturbing! We have to, as teachers, family members and society in general, assure these activities for balance.

I just read up on emergingaugmented reality tech, which we have all heard about for years, but it is coming soon. How the heck will this play out in what we are discussing? Are we about to move into a paradigm so new and far out that these issue will no longer be of importance? I can't(don't want to) see a day when pensiveness is frowned upon and anti- technologists(subtle ones) become the enemy.

spec



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 06:07 PM
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reply to post by Wildbob77
 



Once again, it's time to be a parent

Agreed 100%! I wish that answer could be practical. Now, what about all of those born to less than 'good' parents? What about all those with good parents, but the parents are too distracted and overburdened to apply their goodness to learning and structure in the home? It seems we are all on a downward spiral of disconnect with each other, beyond superficial means. I feel that both parents and the institutions have to make changes, because neither can exclusively take it on with any significant change, outside of their own children, which is where we have to start for sure, but not all parents are choosing or able to do this it seems.

spec



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 06:14 PM
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reply to post by speculativeoptimist
 


As much as I'd love to take credit for the sensory diet idea....its not mine, nor is it new. I worked with an occupational therapist and special education teacher to come up with those specific ideas, put there are a plethora of other sensory diet ideas out there. You really have to consider the students' needs; the way I run my class this year won't be the same next year. Does that make sense?

"Googling it" or "Google it" is synonymous with research for most of our students (and a lot of our staff, too.) When I want to know the answer to a quick question, I use google... but you are right. It is not the same as traditional research.

As far as classroom environment and "brain breaks," these are not new ideas, thank goodness. Planning an appropriate classroom environment requires a lot of thought. You have to consider the lighting, temperature, colors used, space provided, etc. My son's teacher (she's a first year teacher) painted her classroom bright fire-engine red. NOT a soothing or calming color. So those are some of the things you've got to keep in mind.

Personally, I'm absolutely enthralled with the brain and how it functions and learns. Believe it or not, many teachers don't have a lot of training with regards to brain development, except for teachers in the elementary levels (where an understanding of child development is required). A lot of the brain-based studies are fairly new, so we're just now beginning to understand and utilize the information. I do forsee a time in the near future when these issues will be required courses for educational majors.

The brain breaks, breathing techniques, and yoga postures are beneficial to everyone, IMO. I've learned from experience that taking three minutes of time to do a"brain break" will easily save ten minutes in lost time from students who can't focus.

BTW, I always get excited when I see you've posted something new....its a guaranteed intriguing thread!



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 06:31 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 

Attention to classroom environment, now that sounds like a good idea
My favorite teacher was in 5th grade, and I say favorite because not only was she kind and smart, but the way our class was set up seemed to encourage a fine learning experience. We had our desks set up in a circle, so everyone's attention was centered, and we had numerous classes out side. Everyone was participative and enthusiastic about the lessons. Too bad today's classrooms are over full with students, and can't do the chairs in a circle thing.

Knowing what we do about the brain today, changes should be happening in our learning institutions, but I fear the entire institution is crippled and for whatever reasons, significant changes never seem to see light. A huge task, political barriers, expensive? What are the reasons for the stagnation?

I see you signature and relate to TNH's practice and words...mindfulness. It sounds like some of what you do, and Maxmars has mentioned, falls under this premise. Whether it is from the Buddhist or just as a good idea, mindfulness is essential for balance, imo, and the lack of it only furthers the deatching from one's full potential.

A little off-topic, but I just saw this today, speaking of, and it offered me some hope for our leaders.
www.msnbc.msn.com...

Thank you for the compliment smyleegrl, I appreciate it.

edit on 10-4-2012 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 07:30 PM
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I thought this would be a good little addition to the thread. Mr. McLuhan has some interesting insight on electronic media and it's effects on society. He thinks too much info,particularly visual, takes away from out other abilities and makes us more passive, and less likely to actually get involved.

Marshall McLuhan ( click the 240(bottom right) version for audio)



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 09:08 PM
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reply to post by Afterthought
 



I wish that all children were taught yoga or meditation in schools. This might help them understand what they're missing and why it's necessary for healthy development.

Is there ever any talk amongst your colleagues for such a thing? How bout in the larger spectrum of schools country wide, has it ever been suggested and if so, how do teachers/staff feel about it? My guess would be there is not enough time and resources to implement such. I think most parents would agree about the benefit of such an idea though.

Now can you imagine what the first few sessions would be like? Squirming kids, fidgeting fingers, wandering eyes(searching for their cell phones
), I'd imagine a few may just freak out.
But as Maxmars mentioned, introspection is of great value and these quite times are ever fleeting in today's world.
edit on 10-4-2012 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 07:33 AM
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Originally posted by speculativeoptimist
reply to post by Afterthought
 



I wish that all children were taught yoga or meditation in schools. This might help them understand what they're missing and why it's necessary for healthy development.

Is there ever any talk amongst your colleagues for such a thing? How bout in the larger spectrum of schools country wide, has it ever been suggested and if so, how do teachers/staff feel about it? My guess would be there is not enough time and resources to implement such. I think most parents would agree about the benefit of such an idea though.

Now can you imagine what the first few sessions would be like? Squirming kids, fidgeting fingers, wandering eyes(searching for their cell phones
), I'd imagine a few may just freak out.
But as Maxmars mentioned, introspection is of great value and these quite times are ever fleeting in today's world.
edit on 10-4-2012 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)


Actually, the philosophy I use is based on Dr. Becky Bailey's work, called Conscious Discipline (you can google the name and find all sorts of info). It's brain-based research and basically teaches children (and adults) how to be aware of their feelings and thoughts, how to self-monitor and calm dsown, and how to deal effectively with the inevitable bumps in the road.

CD draws on lots of other disciplines, including Buddhism and the practice of yoga. It's amazing to watch a group of rowdy 6 year olds go through a three minute exercise and be perfectly calm and relaxed.

In NC, where I teach, yoga or Conscious Discipline isn't required. However, as more data emerges that shows clearly the difference these practices make on children's test scores, overall learning, and demeanor, I suspect there will be a push to incorporate it more completely.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 09:04 AM
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reply to post by speculativeoptimist
 


Unfortunately, I no longer work as a paid teacher. The public school system and I did not mesh. I seriously doubt that they would ever have yoga or meditation classes unless they were offered as electives in high school, but I highly doubt this would ever be offered either.

The public school system is way too concerned with teaching to standardized tests such as the FCAT (Florida). They also require the teachers to be more concerned with administrative duties than teaching. They had us so bogged down with emails, administrative meetings, teacher/teacher meetings, and other useless tasks that it was nearly impossible to find the time to see students and parents after school or during down time. I also don't think they appreciated my quite vocal objections to making the handicapped children wait for the firemen if they were on the second floor during a fire drill. I told them that it's not rocket science to place their classes on the first floor. The administration were all brainless and useless in my opinion. I also was outraged that our teacher/teacher meetings consisted of the other teachers discussing who were sluts and a-holes when we were supposed to be discussing how to help the students. Most of the teachers I encountered were still stuck in high school and were rather immature. The others were simply burned out. Just plain sad and a true shame. I think teachers should be forced to change grade levels or curriculums after a few years to prevent them from becoming too comfortable and their teaching skills become monotonous. It was obvious that the other teachers (not all, but most) didn't like me because I had the spark that was only a distant memory for them.

It would be a breath of fresh air for the students to learn alternative methods of dealing with stress and fatigue, but I feel that the school systems are becoming more and more like prisons than educational facilities.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 09:08 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I applaud your teaching skills and happy to hear that you still have the "new teacher" spark that so many lose. I wish you were one of the ones I worked with because teachers like yourself are too few.

Keep it up! I'm sure your students love you and will always remember you long after they've graduated.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 09:12 AM
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My brother just emailed me a conversation he is currently having with his students. It was funny, so I thought I would share it with this thread.


Teacher: Students here are the instructions ...(blah, blah).... "Do not do session 2. Under no circumstance move on to session 2. When you finish the multiple choice, don't move on. Only do the multiple choice. The multiple choice questions are all you have to do."


Students: Do we do session 2?
Teacher aloud: No.

5 or 10 minutes later

Student: Do I do the next section?
5 or 10 minutes later
Student: Do we stop after the multiple choice?
5 or 10 minutes later
Student brings test to me: Do I do session 2?


This is only a part of it, this is probably half of the students who actually asked a similar question. Maybe the problem isn't the education system, it is the students?


There are not smart phones or computers allowed at use in the classroom, but the attention span is still pretty bad!



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 09:28 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Wow! You just brought back a rush of memories for me. I can't tell you how many times I just gave up on repeating myself and instead wrote the directions on the board, then having the students read them back to me.
It never failed that at least one student would ask again, which I'd reply with just a point of the finger towards the board. It's almost as if the students just wanted to speak to break up the monotony of the testing or even as a means of distracting the other students, but that's just my speculation.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 10:02 AM
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Originally posted by Afterthought
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I applaud your teaching skills and happy to hear that you still have the "new teacher" spark that so many lose. I wish you were one of the ones I worked with because teachers like yourself are too few.

Keep it up! I'm sure your students love you and will always remember you long after they've graduated.


You just made my day!!! Thank you so much!!!



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 10:05 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 



You just made my day!!! Thank you so much!!!


My pleasure.

Teaching is such a thankless job and ones like you deserve the highest of praise.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:11 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 

Well I did not know, thanks for the education teach
And yes, I beleive the evidence for improvements will resonate well and hopefully encourage efforts to make this stuff(CD) a regular part of education. I am with Afterthought too, thank you for your service and your attitude is admirable.

Peace,
spec



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:13 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 

Makes me visualize teachers banging their .s against the wall. It is no wonder why so many lose their fire and passion once immersed in the reality of today's youth and education. We need an entire revamping of the ed system, imo.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:59 PM
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Originally posted by speculativeoptimist
reply to post by getreadyalready
 

Makes me visualize teachers banging their .s against the wall. It is no wonder why so many lose their fire and passion once immersed in the reality of today's youth and education. We need an entire revamping of the ed system, imo.


Every year I request the following from my school's administration:
Ariel spraying of Prozac
Intravenous caffeine drips
Valium salt lick in the teacher's lounge
Hazmat Suits

So far, my requests have been ignored.....



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