Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Clifford Nass ... multitasking ... having a conversation

I was very sad to hear that Clifford Nass, Stanford professor, died this past weekend. I have been introducing his work on multitasking to my students for several years – both as they explore the topic from a research perspective and from a personal struggle with balancing screen-time and their own relationships with friends and family.  Nass was an especially engaging professor who will definitely be missed far beyond 'the Farm' in Palo Alto.  Here is a short video in which he passionately discusses his work:

I found it especially appropriate to see that Edutopia had also just published an essay about learning to communicate, focusing on the ways that we as educators can help students with this ongoing challenge:

  • Model a Good Conversation; 
  • Encourage Physical Cues;
  • Challenge Put-Downs or Hurtful Comments;
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions;
  • Put Thinking Ahead of Knowing;
  • Have Informal Chats;
  • Make Eye Contact and
  • Encourage Turn-Taking.

If the topic interests YOU and you are not familiar with Nass' work, begin by reading more at The New York Times where Clifford Nass is described as "A Force for Face-to-Face Communication" and “instrumental in helping us understand how modern technology is changing who and what we are.” 

Or pick up his book, The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What We Can Learn About Ourselves from Our Machines.  Look someone in the eye and share the information - it would make Professor Nass smile.