The phrases “paying attention” and “spending our time” may be more relevant today than we realize. In a culture of perpetual distraction, the concept of the attention economy – how our focus is captured, distributed, consumed, demanded, and monetized – is growing more omnipresent every day. How many conversations, notifications, or threads of information can we reasonably manage? What is this 24/7 demand doing to our brains and bodies, especially for young people? And, in this attention economy, how do we re-learn how to direct our focus in ways that promote wellbeing, learning, productivity, and connectedness?
Tali Horowitz is the East Coast Education Director at Common Sense, where she works with educators to empower students and their families to meaningfully harness the power of media and technology for learning and life. In this work, she partners with state-level organizations, school districts, including the New York City Department of Education, and community organizations to provide consultations, professional development (both in-person and virtual), and conference presentations. Tali has been an educator for almost 20 years in a variety of educational settings, including the NYCDOE and the San Francisco Unified School District. In 2013, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to research culturally responsive pedagogy in New Zealand.
Dr. Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society and the founding director of MIT’s Initiative on Technology and Self. She researches how technology can undermine our capacities for empathy and solitude and how to design for our human vulnerability. The author of Reclaiming Conversation and Alone Together, Turkle’s latest book is The Empathy Diaries, a Memoir. Her commentary has appeared in The New York Times, Scientific American, and WIRED. A Harvard Centennial medalist and Guggenheim and Rockefeller humanities fellowships recipient, Turkle was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.
David C. Banks is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the nation. Appointed on January 1, 2022, he is the former President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation, and the founding principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in a network of innovative all-boys public schools in New York City and Newark, N.J. David is a lifelong New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, and proud graduate of New York City public schools, attending P.S. 161 in Brooklyn and Hillcrest High School in Queens. After a year working as a school safety officer, he began his first teaching job at P.S. 167 in his childhood neighborhood on Eastern Parkway. From there, he went on to become a founding principal at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice, and later at the Eagle Academy for Young Men.