From popular journalism to scholarly academic research, the ‘attention economy’ has been used quite a bit lately to describe social media’s interest in incentivizing our attention for the purposes of collecting data. Classrooms are no exception—many schools haven’t blocked social media sites. Once the chromebooks come out, student attention spans quickly wander to the realms of Facebook, Youtube, etc. What if we deflected some of that social media usage into learning?
Khantent Blocker is a simple browser extension that helps set limits on social media usage. When time is up, the end user is served up a random course on Khan Academy. It not only serves a functional purpose by allowing the end user to ration their daily social media usage, but it also serves a discursive, provocative purpose by imagining if part of student agency was offloaded to a machine.