Paying Attention to Attention

Paying Attention to Attention

Last week I gave a short presentation to the High School student body here at ISB. I talked a bit about what I was going to say here. From the time I wrote that post (a good reflection for me) to last Tuesday when I actually gave the presentation I kept coming back to this idea of attention and asking the kids:  Who do you give your attention to?   I talked about the 1-9-90 rule that researchers see emerging. That is that 1% of us create, 9% of us curate, an 90% of us only consume information. After the presentation I asked students to write down the top three things that get their attention. CC 2.0 by Stephen Poff The idea of the Attention-Economy is not new, but I felt that students needed to know about it and needed to think deeply about how they spend their time….specifically how much time they spend consuming vs creating.There is another part of the Attention-Economy that I think we as educators need to pay attention to. That is when to ask for someone’s attention. Over the past couple of years I’ve been playing with this idea of attention myself. Being in Thailand and having most of my readers in the United States I have found that the time my blog posts go public has a direct correlation with how many people read my blog posts. If I publish my blog posts in the middle of the night U.S. time I get almost 50% less people reading that particular post, 50% less tweets about it, and therefore less feedback on my ideas.  Because the pace of information is so fast, by the time readers in the U.S. wake up my piece of information is history.  Based on what I have learned playing with my own blog posts, I’ve started to transfer over to e-mails at school with pretty good success…and this is really what I want to share with you. Do you pay attention to the timing of your e-mails? I haven’t come across a school yet that does not rely heavily on e-mail to get things done. Which means we all get a ton of e-mail during the work day and sometimes even more after hours. When you send that e-mail to your staff could be as important as the e-mail itself. Case in point: I needed to send out a survey last week...

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