The post Does doodling make you smarter? summarizes a study that apparently shows that people doodling had a much higher recall of information they were listening to than those who were not doodling, perhaps because ” doodling aids cognitive performance by reducing daydreaming.”
I try to talk as little as possible in front of the room, and certainly not for a lengthy period of time in one stretch. “Lecturing” for more than six or seven minutes is deadly, and I try to keep it under five (anything above that and I will repeatedly break for various activities like “think, pair, share”).
When I am talking, though, I’m generally pretty insistent on students looking at me. I’ll make exceptions for certain students with whom I’ve negotiated “deals” who tell me that they can pay attention to me while drawing/doodling. Of course, those deals are off if students need to see something on the overhead projector.
I’ve generally been pretty resistant to these kinds of deals because I’ve thought it was important for students to give me their undivided attention during the limited periods when I speak. This study has me wondering now if it’s really that important. Of course, there’s much more to learning than just “recall.”
What do you think and do?