fidgeting   15

Fidget Toys Aren't Just Hype - Scientific American
Despite sometimes being an annoying distraction for others, fidget items can have some practical uses for adults
howtobeahuman  fidgeting  ADD 
may 2017 by laurenipsum
The Fidget Spinner Explains the World - The Atlantic
"What is it for? The fidget spinner has been framed as just a toy—but also as a stress-relief tool, a classroom menace, a treatment for ADHD, and a possible salve to smartphone addiction, among other things.

Fidget spinners might or might not be any of those things, but at their core they are something more, and something stranger: the perfect material metaphor for everyday life in early 2017, for good and for ill."



"The top is not just one of the oldest toys, it is also one of the oldest artifacts of human civilization. Along with the earliest wheels, tops have been unearthed in ancient Mesopotamia dating back 5,500 years or more. The Egyptians had tops, too, some of which were found in the tomb of King Tut. Normally, a top is a toy requiring collaboration with the material world. It requires a substrate on which to spin, be it the hard earth of ancient Iraq or the molded-plastic IKEA table in a modern flat. As a toy, the top grounds physics, like a lightning rod grounds electricity. And in this collaboration, the material world always wins. Eventually, the top falls, succumbing to gravity, laying prone on the dirt.

Not so, the fidget spinner. It is a toy for the hand alone—for the individual. Ours is not an era characterized by collaboration between humans and earth—or Earth, for that matter. Whether through libertarian self-reliance or autarchic writ, human effort is first seen as individual effort—especially in the West. Bootstraps-thinking pervades the upper echelons of contemporary American life, from Silicon Valley to the White House. But it also underwrites more marginal plights. When some non-neurotypical fidget spinners shun scientific verification of the device’s therapeutic value, they do so by affirming their individual ability—and right—to self-diagnose and self-treat.

In this context, a top that spins in the hand is like a pocket orrery—a mechanical model of the heavens. The fidget spinner quietly attests that the solitary, individual body who spins it is sufficient to hold a universe. That’s not a counterpoint to the ideology of the smartphone, but an affirmation of that device’s worldview. What is real, and good, and interesting is what can be contained and manipulated in the hand, directly."



"Today, the internet-connected, global economy exerts influence like the electric light once did. Gizmos like the fidget spinner fuse just-in-time manufacturing, global logistics, marketing, retail, and publishing. They exist not to serve a purpose, like play or mental health, but to grease the machinery that fulfills the desire it also invents.

The same values that the fidget spinner symbolizes, like innovation and individualism, are supposed to produce a glorious future: life-extending technology, on-demand delivery, and hyperloop transit. But in truth, progress has ground to a halt. In its place: an infinite supply of gewgaws, whether apps or memes or tops. Each fashions a new itch, whose scratch offers a tiny, temporary relief that replaces broader comforts."
ianbogost  capitalism  distaction  2017  fidgetspinners  fidgeting  latecapitalism  fads  toys 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Fidget Tools: Anti-Anxiety Technology and Magic — In Real Life
"I was playing Twitter with @rogre the other night, and we made a conceptual leap that led me to recognize one of my favorite forms of technology. I was asking around for opinions on the best Qur’an translation (I ended up going with this one), and @rogre suggested some apps I could use for text search and audio while I read. He then added this, which I found inscrutable for only half a second:

@ablaze No substitute for beads, though. http://t.co/DVE93ngqYx + http://t.co/c5SDdvEC87 Maybe in a jam, I suppose.

— Roberto Greco (@rogre) November 2, 2014
His post showed this beautiful contrast between the car key remote he’d used for 11 years and the other key, which had never been used. The amount of wear on the object in 11 years was amazing, and @rogre reported missing the comforting texture of the old one after it was replaced with the immaculate copy. It “served not only as the key to the car,” @rogre said, “but also as my fidget tool or Kombolói-like Anti-Anxiety Device.”

If his point was that reading scripture is no substitute for fidgeting with a sacred object, I agreed wholeheartedly. I love tumbling sacred verses in my mind as much as the next religious person, but I need my fidget tools.

[image]

I did not have to look up what “kombolói” meant, because I was already intimately familiar with the idea. Since I was a kid, I’ve kept rocks and crystals I use as my “fidget tools.” I certainly think of them as anti-anxiety devices, although their significance to me is really on the level of magic or spiritual power. My latest one is a tektite, a rock-like glass formed from terrestrial debris by the impact of a meteorite. It means a great deal to me — it’s even implicated in the completion of In Real Life — and I roll it in my hands constantly to absorb its good vibes and release my bad ones.

As I told @rogre, I think I learned the practice from my mother’s father, who had a set of Baoding balls that mystified me. He gave me his tefillin, another kind of fidgety sacred object that I get plenty of use out of, but I think he took the Baoding balls with him to Heaven.

Sure enough, kombolói are a long-standing technology for passing time and defraying anxiety. They look like prayer beads, but they need not have explicitly religious meanings. Such objects can definitely serve as powerful totems — and mine do, as I said — but I’m particularly interested right now in just that more basic, immediate way of using them as “anti-anxiety devices.”

@rogre opened a vast wormhole of links to read here (his ongoing catalog of sacred objects and theories thereof can be found on Pinboard), but I think the treasure at the bottom is this post from Julian at Near Future Laboratory. He designed a high-tech, light-emitting kombolói with lots of craft and care.

There’s a category of technology here that I care deeply about. I’m still seeking a name for it that will suffice for me. “Totem” only covers the magic part, “worry bead” only the anxiety part. Neither name conveys the critical role of the tactile sensations by which this technology works. I could just go with “kombolói” precisely because of its enchanting lack of precise meaning for me. For the purposes of coming up with a tag for this blog, though, I’ll call them fidget tools like @rogre did.

I hope it’s clear that fidget tools are a technology, and that their technology-ness does not reside in components or engineering. Whether they’re painstakingly wired and programmed or fused in the blast of a meteorite impact, all fidget tools operate in the exact same way: by fitting reassuringly in a human hand."

[Referenced here: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/101657563708/november-begins-with ]
worrybeads  jonmitchell  2014  comments  fidgeting  fidgettools  tefillin  baodingballs  kombolói  religion  anxiety  ritual  technology  tektite  anti-anxietydevices  rituals 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Fidgetland
Need one of these for students to play with when they come to my office.
wishlist  fidgeting  toy 
november 2014 by warnick
Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today - The Washington Post
"A perfect stranger pours her heart out to me over the phone. She complains that her 6-year-old son is unable to sit still in the classroom. The school wants to test him for ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder). This sounds familiar, I think to myself. As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’ve noticed that this is a fairly common problem today.

The mother goes on to explain how her son comes home every day with a yellow smiley face. The rest of his class goes home with green smiley faces for good behavior. Every day this child is reminded that his behavior is unacceptable, simply because he can’t sit still for long periods of time.

The mother starts crying. “He is starting to say things like, ‘I hate myself’ and ‘I’m no good at anything.’” This young boy’s self-esteem is plummeting all because he needs to move more often.

Over the past decade, more and more children are being coded as having attention issues and possibly ADHD. A local elementary teacher tells me that at least eight of her twenty-two students have trouble paying attention on a good day. At the same time, children are expected to sit for longer periods of time. In fact, even kindergarteners are being asked to sit for thirty minutes during circle time at some schools.

The problem: children are constantly in an upright position these days. It is rare to find children rolling down hills, climbing trees, and spinning in circles just for fun. Merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters are a thing of the past. Recess times have shortened due to increasing educational demands, and children rarely play outdoors due to parental fears, liability issues, and the hectic schedules of modern-day society. Lets face it: Children are not nearly moving enough, and it is really starting to become a problem.

I recently observed a fifth grade classroom as a favor to a teacher. I quietly went in and took a seat towards the back of the classroom. The teacher was reading a book to the children and it was towards the end of the day. I’ve never seen anything like it. Kids were tilting back their chairs back at extreme angles, others were rocking their bodies back and forth, a few were chewing on the ends of their pencils, and one child was hitting a water bottle against her forehead in a rhythmic pattern.

This was not a special-needs classroom, but a typical classroom at a popular art-integrated charter school. My first thought was that the children might have been fidgeting because it was the end of the day and they were simply tired. Even though this may have been part of the problem, there was certainly another underlying reason.

We quickly learned after further testing, that most of the children in the classroom had poor core strength and balance. In fact, we tested a few other classrooms and found that when compared to children from the early 1980s, only one out of twelve children had normal strength and balance. Only one! Oh my goodness, I thought to myself. These children need to move!"

Ironically, many children are walking around with an underdeveloped vestibular (balance) system today–due to restricted movement. In order to develop a strong balance system, children need to move their body in all directions, for hours at a time. Just like with exercising, they need to do this more than just once-a-week in order to reap the benefits. Therefore, having soccer practice once or twice a week is likely not enough movement for the child to develop a strong sensory system.

Children are going to class with bodies that are less prepared to learn than ever before. With sensory systems not quite working right, they are asked to sit and pay attention. Children naturally start fidgeting in order to get the movement their body so desperately needs and is not getting enough of to “turn their brain on.” What happens when the children start fidgeting? We ask them to sit still and pay attention; therefore, their brain goes back to “sleep.”

Fidgeting is a real problem. It is a strong indicator that children are not getting enough movement throughout the day. We need to fix the underlying issue. Recess times need to be extended and kids should be playing outside as soon as they get home from school. Twenty minutes of movement a day is not enough! They need hours of play outdoors in order to establish a healthy sensory system and to support higher-level attention and learning in the classroom.

In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order to pay attention, we need to let them move."
adhd  education  health  2014  children  schools  schooling  schooliness  angelahanscom  drugs  attention  movement  fidgeting  strength  balance 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Crazy Aaron's Puttyworld
Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty (magnetic, clear, heat sensitive, glow-in-the-dark, etc.)
cool  geek  toys  occupationaltherapy  adhd  fidgeting 
april 2014 by wn
The Seven Spaces of Technology in School Environments on Vimeo
"Matt Locke originally came up with the concept of the Six Spaces of technology (http://test.org.uk/​2007/​08/​10/​six-spaces-of-social-media/ ​). I added a seventh earlier this year, Data Spaces, and have played around with how education could harness these spaces, and the various transgressions between them, for learning.

This short presentation tackles the potential of adjusting our physical school environments to harness technology even better. What happens when we map technological spaces to physical ones?

You can see more of the detail behind these thoughts over on the blog:

http://edu.blogs.com/​edublogs/​2010/​10/​-cefpi-clicks-bricks-when-digital-learning-and-space-met.html "

[via: http://twitter.com/irasocol/status/86712955856629760 See also: http://www.notosh.com/2011/01/consultancy-new-schools/ via http://twitter.com/ewanmcintosh/status/86721281147404288 ]
ewanmcintosh  2010  classroom  classroomdesign  gevertulley  tinkering  tinkeringschool  teaching  pedagogy  adaptability  digital  physical  learning  unschooling  deschooling  fidgeting  privatespaces  groupspaces  dataspaces  technology  fujikindergarten  mattlocke  blogging  flickr  blogs  watchingspaces  participatory  participationspaces  thirdteacher  performingspaces  space  publishing  twitter  stephenheppell  design  place  lcproject  classideas  tcsnmy  reggioemilia  classrooms  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
The New Atlantis » The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction
"Alan Jacobs…The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction…argues that, contrary to doomsayers, reading is alive & well in America. His interactions w/ students & readers of his own books, however, suggest that many readers lack confidence; they wonder whether they are reading well, w/ proper focus & attentiveness, w/ due discretion & discernment. Many have absorbed the puritanical message that reading is, first & foremost, good for you—intellectual equivalent of eating Brussels sprouts.

For such people, indeed for all readers, Jacobs offers some simple, powerful, & much needed advice: read at whim, read what gives you delight, & do so w/out shame, whether it be Stephen King or King James Bible. Jacobs offers an insightful, accessible, & playfully irreverent guide for aspiring readers. Each chapter focuses on one aspect of approaching literary fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, & the book explores everything from invention of silent reading…"
literature  reading  distraction  alanjacobs  2011  classideas  elitism  engagement  pleasure  guilt  obligation  virtue  teaching  books  motorresponse  kindle  attention  ebooks  twitching  fidgeting  concentration  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Cooper Journal: One free interaction [see also: http://www.polaine.com/playpen/2009/02/10/one-free-playful-interaction/]
""One free interaction" is a prospective design pattern that gives software and hardware a more humane feel. It exists outside of task flows and the concept of users as task-doers. Instead it sits in the "in between" spaces, suiting users as fidgeters, communicators, and people who play with things."
fidgeting  tics  interface  webdesign  interactiondesign  touchscreen  iphone  software  human  interaction  experience  culture  gui  ui  patterns  webdev 
february 2009 by robertogreco

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