Disconnecting from Technology to Connect

There was a time when I was one of those people who had their phone out for everything. I would text through dinner. I would text while talking and oh my…let’s not even consider TWITTER!

We attend conferences and capture thoughts using a backchannel. The entire time that the keynoter is speaking, we are tweeting using a hashtag. We do this knowing that we won’t capture everything but because it’s a backchannel, we know that someone will.

Have we all grown accustomed to capturing thoughts in bits while leaving the rest to be read in “bytes”?

As much as I love technology, I find that I personally capture more without it. I carried my chromebook, phone and ipad to educon. I couldn’t even bring myself to use any of those devices because I could not bare the thought of missing something. When I sit and talk to people, I find myself entranced by the nuances of how they speak. I pay attention to small things like emotional connection to ideas instead of whose tweet I just missed.

When the conversation is done and the thoughts are heard, I then reflect and process. This time, I grab the technology.

While others can multi-task like lightening, I find that being free to absorb without tech is something that works for me. It’s a personal preference and one that has only developed after seeing myself for the over-tech using person that I am.

Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE technology but I think that we should also be mindful of our own limitations or lack there of. I’ve had many great conversations in the last few weeks. My phone stays either face down or in my purse. I can’t even imagine how much I would have missed had I been consumed with my connected world through my device.

I can’t imagine what I would have missed had I not been fully present in that “after privilege” library conversation at the end of educon. Something has to be said about having powerful meaningful conversations without the glare of a shiny window.

So, in essence…in lieu of allowing technology to rule my learning, I choose my connections wisely.

We should consider allowing students to do the same.

It is a life skill after all.



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