The format for an introduction in an informative speech in communication courses is as follows: an attention gainer first, followed by a topic reveal, credibility, and then a preview of what will be covered.
The idea is that the audience needs to become engaged, understand what will be taught, trust the speaker, and then conceptualize what will be learned by the end of the speech.
Let's look at the reading for this week through this filter:
Attention gainer: Students have too many attention gainers. Cool design in a website makes initial impressions good and students are likely to engage. Principals who believe that Ipads for teaching Mandarin are seeking attention gainers.
Topic Reveal: In designing a site, this allows students to clearly understand what can be done and why they are there. Not revealing exactly what will be covered hurts the presentation.
Credibility: Sometimes speakers come in with credibility (initial credibility), other times they earn it (derived credibility), and the audience is left with an impression when they leave (terminal credibility). In sites with initial credibility (Google), students immediately engage and trust the results. This can lead to what the text calls "Google Gullibility." Students can also start with the trust in a name, but when the experience is confusing, the derived credibility is negatively effected. Using existing interface design is a good way to build off of initial credibility.
Preview of Main Points: As the reading suggests, our students are very goal oriented. They want to understand what the content they are engaging will do for them, both in the short term and the long term. There is significant writing discussing how students lack the discipline to control their focus in the reading for this week, but there are also great examples of students maintaining focus on editing a video for 8+ hours to complete a project. In my opinion, this example appears to be significant and sustained focus. It could be that our students have become so goal oriented that reading Vonnegut doesn't have any context for real world application. This should be the job of the teacher to help the student understand the relevance. I question the assumption that students lack stamina.
My perspective is that students lack the ability to contextualize assignments and make choices to interact with stimuli that appears more relevant. The modern student brain isn't broken from technology. This type of blame is a fear tactic that sells things and provides a nameless and faceless scapegoat.
The goal shouldn't be to completely meet students where they are (Buy me an iPad! Maybe then I'll learn Mandarin!), but rather provide a vision that is more compelling than Facebook's content shallow attention gainers.