Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Some Walden Zone App Story-Boards

Last year we developed a Concentration Browser which was intended to help students develop greater mindfulness about their digital connections and the contexts where those connections encourage (and sometimes discourage) learning. As a follow-up to that project I continue to think of digital apps that breed this mindufulness about digital connections. Here are two story boards that illustate some "Walden Zone" apps I'm thinking of developing. Both help to mute a cell phone during particular junctures in the day and the basic difference between them is that the first is time based whereas the second is location based:

Walden Zone App 1 (Time based app)

Walden Zone App 2 (Location based app)

At tomorrow's AHA THATCamp we hope to be able to peddle these apps while at the same time broaching a set of related philosophical questions.(Footnote 1) What do you think? Are either of these story-boards compelling to you? How might they be modified so that they are compelling?


1 "Are our present concerns about "information overload" and "digital distraction" and the need for "Walden zones" and "digital sabbaths" simply a form of “moral panic?” Are they simply the latest iteration of longstanding fears about the new and unknown? Didn't earlier generations' worry about the way that movies, or rock and roll, or television, were affecting America's youth? Or are our present worries something to be taken seriously? What insights can the humanities bring to bear in answering these questions?"

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