December 30, 2014

Spending some time unplugged – a New Year’s Resolution, perhaps?

Posted by Laura Guertin

I love the above image, as well as the discussion in the linked article in the above tweet.  We may be quick to sadly shake our head at the “youth of today” glued to their handheld technology, not picking up their heads to take in and enjoy the geologic wonders around them – but seriously, are we faculty and scientists any better?  This post will not explore unplugging in the classroom – I will stay away from discussing research that shows taking notes by hand benefits students more than taking notes on a laptop (see Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014), or that children’s social skills may be declining as they have less time for face-to-face interaction due to their increased use of digital media (see Uhls et al., 2014).  These topics are for a future post.

This post is to urge each of us to make sure we step away from our computers and handheld devices during this holiday/semester break, despite the grant proposals due and new syllabi to create and manuscripts we were not able to get out the door last semester that we now really want to send off before we start teaching in January (phew!).  We need to take care of ourselves and make sure we keep in touch with our love and passion for the outdoors and things not involving electrical power.

If possible, we should all try to take Brian’s advice and find some time this semester break and throughout the academic year to unplug.  Even Zachary Levi and Bert from Sesame Street are giving us a hint… (just substitute “snowy day” for “sunny day” if appropriate):

And now, I’m going to go relax and read a “fun” book… on my Kindle…