Driven to distraction

You can see them coming “a mile away”.

Or at least in the distance headed your way.

When you’re a dog walker on a country road, you really need to pay attention to the oncoming cars.  Sure, we walk facing the traffic but that’s not enough.  It’s those oncoming drivers that aren’t driving in a straight line that are a concern.  At times, they’re just not paying attention, being otherwise distracted.

I’ve got in the habit of maintaining eye contact with the drivers of oncoming traffic.  Some are very good and polite and will pull over a bit to give us some room.  Those will get a friendly wave from me.

There are those that maintain a straight line, not giving us an inch.  That’s not a biggy; we share the road and will head off to the gravel to let them pass.  But generally, we’re able to share the road nicely.  Until a dedicated walking lane is made, this is our reality.


It’s the third category that’s the scary ones.  Many times, we’ve had to beat a hasty “exit, stage left” as the oncoming car isn’t driving in a straight line.

It’s the eye contact that tells the story.  Distracted?  You bet.  We’ve seen them all.  Well, maybe some of them.

  • Drinking something with the cup up blocking their eye sight
  • Eating something
  • Putting on makeup
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Brushing hair
  • and of course, looking down oblivious to what’s happened which I assume means working their phone.  These are the real scary ones since they’re distracted for more than a couple of seconds

Now, the road that we walk isn’t one that you’ll find students driving on at this time of the morning.  These are adults.  You know, the role models for those students that populate classrooms.

As we know, they can have their own distractions at time.  It’s certainly been in the news and promised.

It’s an issue that just doesn’t seem to go away.

There are two sides and each side puts forth compelling arguments for the use of this sort of technology in the classroom.  Many of the arguments are recycled from the decisions to allow students to bring their own tablets or computers to the classroom.

You know them:

  • students will be distracted and not pay attention
  • students will access resources inappropriately
  • teacher can’t always control the use of the technology
  • add your own…


  • there’s more power in today’s smartphone than in some of the school provided technology
  • we need to teach students with the best tools available and prepare them for an always connected world
  • we’ll use the smartphone when it’s curriculum appropriate and not use it otherwise
  • add your own…

Where you stand on any of this will depend on district, school, or personal choice.

I think that the key in all of this is that it’s not just a situation unique to students.  Their parents live in the same connected world, just with differing realities.

Educators who are reading this post will no doubt be dealing with it on their own.  How about sharing how you’re handling things?  There just might be the ultimate bit of genius residing in your mind looking for the appropriate place to appear.  This is it.

OTR Links 09/05/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.