Archive for August, 2012

August 8, 2012

Quantitative studies of student “knowledge work”

In addition to the NEA studies about reading and the UC San Diego study of information consumption, here is some data from a study of academic performance by college students:

stats from Academically Adrift

Second there is the Academic Time Use Survey for College Students (more data on Bureau of Labor Statistics website):

BLS time use chart

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August 8, 2012

Reading perhaps not at risk

From The Atlantic (citing a Gallup servey): “Remember the good old days when everyone read really good books, like, maybe in the post-war years when everyone appreciated a good use of the semi-colon? Everyone’s favorite book was by Faulkner or Woolf or Roth. We were a civilized civilization. This was before the Internet and cable television, and so people had these, like, wholly different desires and attention spans. They just craved, craved, craved the erudition and cultivation of our literary kings and queens. Well, that time never existed. Check out these stats from Gallup surveys…”

August 8, 2012

Sherry Turkle with Colbert

From The Colbert Report (January 17, 2011): in an interview about her new book, Alone Together, Sherry Turkle makes the case for managing our relationship to technology. Turkle: “Some arguments really do take the long form. Some arguments really do take a book.”

August 8, 2012

The Art of Distraction

“What I might have said to my son’s friend is that it is incontrovertible that sometimes things get done better when you’re doing something else. If you’re writing and you get stuck, and you then make tea, while waiting for the kettle to boil the chances are good ideas will occur to you. Seeing that a sentence has to have a particular shape can’t be forced; you have to wait for your own judgment to inform you, and it usually does, in time. Some interruptions are worth having if they create a space for something to work in the fertile unconscious. Indeed, some distractions are more than useful; they might be more like realizations and can be as informative and multilayered as dreams. They might be where the excitement is.”

– from Hanif Kureishi, “The Art of Distraction,” NY Times (February 18, 2012)