I recently wrote an article that explored the impact of the current trend of binge watching on students' learning. The bottom line is that we are becoming a consumption obsessed society - a society that would far rather indulge in passive consumption that active production. The research by Common Sense Media found that 41% of a teens 9 hour tech day (yes, that's more than they sleep) is spent on passive consumption.
Now Netflix, a cultprit in this rising scourge, has revealed that there is a group of people who are not just binge watchers, but extreme bing watchers.
“There is a tiny minority of people who will just binge through the whole thing in the exact amount of time, from the second we launch it at midnight California time,” he said. “13 hours later, or exactly how many hours are in the show, they’ll finish.” (Netflix)
That's scary! These people are so consumption focused they will watch an entire series, minute for minute, without a break.
The impact of all of this is that we are increasingly becoming a content consuming generation. This is made worse by schools feeding this habit by encouraging passive engagement with technology, like watching videos, or playing games. That is not to say that these technologies can't be effective. However, if we are using technology in our classrooms simply to keep attention, we are doing little more than feeding a binge habit that will do little for developing key cognitive skills. Motivation without pedagogy is entertainment!
Technology offers amazing opportunities to engage students in learning - not through passive consumption, but through active engagement like conversation, curating, creating content etc. This is where the power of a digital learning approach lies.
Here's hoping we won't be seeing extreme binge watching schools soon!
Dr. Craig Blewett is the author and founder of the Activated Classroom Teaching (ACT) approach. He helps schools and universities around the world towards the effective use of educational technology.
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