I began reading this book as part of Cathy Davidson’s recently completed MOOC, The History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education. It was never my plan to do the assignments or participate in the course, but I enjoyed doing the readings and watching the videos in spite of a convoluted procedure to get the videos on my NOOK e-reader so I could watch them on the train. But then life decided it hadn’t given me a good, swift kick in a while so I had to give up the videos and readings … all except for Davidson’s book Now You See It.
Davidson writes on the science of attention–what we pay attention to, how attention works and what this all means for education and work in the 21st-century. She gives many terrific–and clearly explained–examples of research in the field and experiments in the organization of the workplace and school all of which point toward the need for a new model instead of trying to use the 19th-century industrial age model of single attention to a single task. Whose life is like that anyway? Certainly not mine. Davidson has an engaging style of writing that made learning from her book all the more enjoyable. You won’t have trouble paying attention to this book.
On a side note, I am very pleased to see Ms. Davidson will be coming to work at the university system where I work, CUNY (City University of New York), albeit at a different institution from myself. The Grad Center in midtown Manhattan is a long ways from a community college in Queens, but one can hope that some of the digital humanities goodness she’s bringing will spill over into the outer boroughs.