Via a new post by Masahble, The Rise of Digital Multitasking, "More Americans than ever are multitasking while they weatch the TV according to a new survey from Deloitte." And "Between September 10 and October 8, 2010, Deloitte polled 2,000 U.S. consumers ages 14-75 on their digital habits. Unsurprisingly, it found that Americans are plugged in. 85% own a desktop computer, yet another 68% own a laptop or a netbook and another 41% have Internet-enabled phones. Moreover, 1/3 of American households now own a smartphone, up from 22% in 2007."
Long have adults lamented the idea of chidren and students multitasking, but it now seems we're all doing it! At our Web to Classroom workshops with teachers in 2009 we found that they were starting to actually encourage and praise multitasking, as they could see it was a skill, a normal way of learning and not a hindrance.
What does this mean for museum learning? We already provide rich, sensory experiences. Perhaps now we need to think more seriously about multilayering content, with the understanding that visitors will tend to multitask as they stand in front of exhibits (just like the TV example in the post above). But, pmaybe visitors have always multitasked as they discuss the exhibits, take fotos, organise themsleves, ask questions and so on - it's just they have many more tools with them now.
Something to think about...