Hybrid Classrooms for Generation M

Hayles defines “deep attention” as the “cognitive” ability to concentrate on one particular task at a time, often for long periods of time.  Contrastingly, “hyper attention” is the skill that allows a person to mentally multi-task, “switching focus rapidly” on many “different tasks” (187).  Of these two cognitive abilities, which are you?  Are you clearly one or the other (such as people are often drastically either “left” or “right” brain) or do you see yourself as a hybrid between the two?

Hayles also claims that neither “deep” nor “hyper” attention is “better” than the other (188), particularly because she has a difficult time defining what it means to be “better” (194).  What do you think?  Is one mode of thinking truly “better” than the opposite – in an overall sense (not just in particular situations, such as those Hayles lists)?

Finally, last Wednesday in class we spent a while in our groups coming up with different syllabi for imaginative courses.  Since most seemed to enjoy that activity, do something similar here: given what you have said about the two above questions, how would you structure a classroom?  Would you lean towards one style over another?  Or again, would you find a hybrid mix?  I think this is a major consideration given that we as teachers (most of us, at least) will be teaching “Generation M.”

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