Teaching Distracted Minds
Presented by James M. Lang, Professor of English and the Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College
Thursday, 2/27/2020, 3:05 - 4:05 p.m.
Online: tinyurl.com/jlangpsu and Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library, University Park

As faculty struggle with the problem of distracted students on our campuses and in our classes, they have become increasingly frustrated by the ways in which digital devices can interfere with student learning. But are students today more distracted than they were in the past? Has technology reduced their ability to focus and think deeply, as some popular books have argued? This interactive lecture draws upon scholarship from history, neuroscience, and education in order to provide productive new pathways for faculty to understand the distractible nature of the human brain, work with students to moderate the effects of distraction in their learning, and even leverage the distractible nature of our minds for new forms of connected and creative thinking.

James M. Lang is a Professor of English and the Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, MA. He is the author of five books, the most recent of which are Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016), Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013), and On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching (Harvard UP, 2008). His next book, Teaching Distracted Minds, will be published by Basic Books in late 2020. Lang writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education, where his work has been appearing since 1999. 

Link: tinyurl.com/jlangpsu

This workshop is sponsored by:

  • Center for Excellence in Science Education
  • College of the Liberal Arts
  • Leonhard Center for Enhancement of Engineering Education
  • Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence
  • Teaching and Learning with Technology
  • Undergraduate Education
  • University Libraries
  • The Center for Arts and Design Pedagogy (C-PAD)