I learned a new word recently- polychron.
“Polychrons love to work on more than one thing at a time. To a polychron, switching from one activity to another is both stimulating and productive and, hence, the most desirable way to work. “
As I observe students in our classrooms here taking notes on their laptops, while reading their email, IMing some friends, checking the weather on weather.com, and a number of other things at the same time, I realize that they are indeed “polychrons.”
We need to take advantage of their ability to multitask and switch from one topic to the next. We need to offer them opportunities for asynchronous learning through online environments such as TWEN discussions and blogs. We need to realign our curriculum.
We will lose them them if we continue to present information in a monochronic way. I may be biased, but I think technology can help engage the students of today.