Interesting video on multi-tasking by John Medina,the guy who wrote Brain Rules. I haven't read the book but I've seen several little snippits about his work and am thinking it needs to go on my to-read list. For years I've had students (and adults) tell me they could do two things at once. I've always argued that they were really just switching focus. Sometimes really fast. Research may support my opinion for a change. (I'm marking this date on my calendar!)
Medina says that talking on a cell phone while you are driving is like driving drunk in that it decreases your ability to make fast decisions in the same way. (I am paraphrasing here so please watch the video and don't quote me as your source...even though I was right this time....did I mention that I was right?)
So, the question in my mind is not that we immediately stop kids and adults from multitasking but how do we utilize our ability to switch tasks to the best of our brains ability. We need a new word here to describe quickly changing tasks. Something catchy like speed-task, sequa-task, task-task, fast-task or tasoogle!
"Mom, today in tech class we learned to tasoogle between google and yahoo while building a collaborative wiki in our moodle space."My only question after this, is why do I doodle and draw pictures while I am listening and taking notes? What is it about my learning style that drives me to draw? Am I switching between the two tasks of drawing and listening or is the drawing enhancing my listening? Maybe I'll read the book to find out.
[Image:"Shut up and drive";Uploaded on September 5, 2007 by Schodts; http://www.flickr.com/photos/schodts/1330843003/]