Thursday, August 02, 2007

Boomers multi-tasking for mental health

I am at David Warlick’s Web 2.0 session in Castine, Maine today. A lot of interesting things are being said. Everyone has a laptop open, and David has invited us to chat during the presentation. Comments are quite relevant to the discussion, but some… well. One participant polled the group on how many windows (separate tasks) each person had open. Some had more than 10. (Not a surprise, I know.) Most were doing their email, and several were watching the baseball game. Cut to the classroom of today. “OK, kids, I want you all to start multi-tasking and we’ll see how we can keep this learning thread together!” Besides the pedagogical concerns, it raises another question for me. Does this help stretch the baby boomers’ brains and keep off senility, or is the pressure to keep up leaving us exhausted? I think it's time for another technology maxim, and I'll borrow it from a meditation instructor I heard on TV last night. The secret to productivity is: "Do one thing at a time."