Exploring Digital Culture

Entries by a MOOC participant

How the Internet is Changing Our Brains

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The Shallows, What the Internet is Doing To Our Brains”, Nicholas Carr

“Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic — a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought.

In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is the ethic of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption — and now the Net is remaking us in its own image.

We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection.”

I used to work for a museum planning and design company(my first job out of college).  Each interactive exhibit was designed on three levels.  At the first level, the museum goer could learn something by just looking at the signage (think graphic design and catchy titles) or the pictures.

At  the second level the exhibit became interactive — pushing buttons — or some other hands-on activity.  If the participant became engaged, they could then go deeper into the exhibit, the 3rd level, and really explore the topic in great depth.

This is the process I will use as I am flooded with new information everyday in my participation in the EDCMOOC.  I will scan a lot, I will find kindred spirits who are exploring similar topics and add them to my personal learning network, and when I I find information that resonates with me, I will share it using the tools in my toolbelt.

10 comments on “How the Internet is Changing Our Brains

  1. epurser
    January 18, 2013

    Hi Cathleen, glad to see your blog happening, even if you don’t love writing it (yet)! I find the whole question of if/how the forms of literacy we use influence the thinking patterns of great interest, and will look up Carr’s contribution – thanks for the reference🙂

  2. Dave Young
    March 19, 2013

    Hi Cathleen sent the connection by one of my ‘virtual’ voice thread friends (Keely). I keep a ‘Learning Log’ as a tool to enable me to think and reflect. I was introduced to Learning Logs years ago by Dr. Peter Honey (of Honey and Mumford). I mentor some people at my place of work – young people (digital natives) – they find it difficult to use the LL as a ‘reflective’ tool using it more as a diary of learning events. I have to push them all the time into reflections and introspection. Thanks for your contribution. I will be sending it to my learners to read – and hopefully reflect on.

    • cathleennardi
      March 19, 2013

      Dave, thank you for the comment and the connection. It was really hard for me to start this learning log, but by the end, I had gotten into the ‘swing’ of it, and my last entry for the EDCMOOC – Leaving with a Digital Identity was a great summary to the class.

      I am now in another MOOC where the LL is not expected, and I find it difficult to get back into the groove. perhaps your post will inspire me to write today — and will inspire your own digital natives to write as well. Cheers!

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This entry was posted on January 15, 2013 by and tagged .
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