According to the Pew Research Center, one in three teens sends over 100 text messages a day. More than half of teens use texting to communicate daily with friends, versus only 33 percent who regularly talk face to face. Cell phone use is rampant at most schools (mine included), despite attempts to restrict or even integrate it into the curriculum.
But in our zealous rush to meet 21st-century demands—emailing assignments, customizing projects for tablets and laptops, and allowing students to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)—we aren’t asking students to think and communicate in real time. Online discussion boards and Twitter are useful tools for exchanging ideas. But they often encourage a “read, reflect, forget about it” response that doesn’t truly engage students in extended critical thinking or conversation.
Further he writes,
Sherry Turkle, a psychologist, MIT professor, and the author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less From Ourselves, has dedicated her career to researching people’s relationships with technology. Much of her writing has shaped my skepticism for tech-overload and its impact on conversation. In a New York Times column, Turkle wrote, “Face-to-face conversation unfolds slowly. It teaches patience. When we communicate on our digital devices, we learn different habits … we start to expect faster answers. To get these, we ask one another simpler questions. We dumb down our communications, even on the most important matters.”
One interesting solution he offers is to record students conversations on a variey of topic. He noticed that students tend to become more engaged and take critical discussions more seriously when they know that they are being recorded.
Read the rest here: My Students Don't Know How to Have a Conversation