Posted by: shineonali | May 25, 2010

Really?

Many of us worry about our students spending too much time online. Looks like it’s not just kids we need to worry about!

Recently, Google put a Pac-Man logo on its search engine.  People started to realize that you could actually play the game…and now BBC reports that a study has come out estimating that almost 5 million more hours of time may have been wasted spent on Google since then.  I usually just use the little Google search bar in my browser window, so I haven’t come across the infamous homepage.  After reading the article, I figure I’d better write my post first before checking it out!

I have complained commented before that Facebook eats up my computer time.  I turn on the computer to work, but find myself having a quick peek at personal email and Facebook first.  A quick peek that, a few links later, has turned into a pleasant, yet somewhat unproductive Saturday morning!  I know that students spend a great deal of time outside of class online for social and entertainment purposes anyway, but educators are expecting them to be online for learning purposes as well.  Giving 10-year olds their own blogs and encouraging them to take ownership of them by adding personal touches, connecting to other bloggers around the world, and blogging about their interests…this means we must take responsibility for teaching guidelines for reasonable amounts of screen time, strategies for walking (surfing?) the fine line between cool, connection-building diversions and counterproductive distractions.  One place to start might be in teaching bookmarking/tagging as a way to “save” interesting stuff for later–after the task at hand is finished.  I’ll be on the lookout for more.

But first I’m going to play Pac-Man.

Edit: It wasn’t on the version of the Google homepage that I went to.  I learned that I’d have to “search Google gadgets” to download it.  Not an easy distraction.  Probably for the best.

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