Listing the points and bullet-pointing them would be a worthy exercise. Keeping that list handy, readily available for those moments when we are tired, distracted, worn down, fearful, anxious, sleepy, or hungry would help us remain strong for our children. A careful reading of this article will surely convince us, but we still need something more, a strong tonic to fortify us for lasting the duration. Our society has a hypnotic pull on our actions, enough to weaken the less resolved of us and to confound the less clear. But because we love our children so much, let’s make a mighty effort!

“We found that participants who multitasked on a laptop during a lecture scored lower on a test compared to those who did not multitask, and participants who were in direct view of a multitasking peer scored lower on a test compared to those who were not. The results demonstrate that multitasking on a laptop poses a significant distraction to both users and fellow students and can be detrimental to comprehension of lecture content.”

“Humans are incapable of ignoring surprising new information in our visual field, an effect that is strongest when the visual cue is slightly above and beside the area we’re focusing on. (Does that sound like the upper-right corner of a screen near you?)”

“Jonathan Haidt’s metaphor of the elephant and the rider is useful here. In Haidt’s telling, the mind is like an elephant (the emotions) with a rider (the intellect) on top. The rider can see and plan ahead, but the elephant is far more powerful. Sometimes the rider and the elephant work together (the ideal in classroom settings), but if they conflict, the elephant usually wins.”

read the washington post article