Saturday, July 29, 2006

Competition for Attention

As far from academia as I have been for 40+ years, I find bits like this report from to be interesting, concerning a recent academic conference and referring to the issue of laptops in college classrooms:
"Lots of the professors had their laptops with them, and one or two professors used the wifi to liveblog the conference. But by the middle of the day-long conference, it seemed to me that a large chunk (around half) of the professors in the audience were online checking e-mail, reading blogs, and surfing around to see what was up in Boston that weekend. Most were paying partial attention to the symposium, but they had a lot more going on than just the symposium."
Given the pervasive use of cellphones while driving, this sort of thing is going to be big over coming years. [Not sure what that means, but maybe that measures to mediate the competition will attract innovators.]

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