Archive for November 11th, 2012

Does Student Use Of Technolgy Impede Attention Spans And Perseverance?

November 11th, 2012

Two new surveys reveal widespread belief among teachers that constant use of technology is hampering student attention spans and perseverance in the face of challenging tasks, reports The New York Times. The studies were conducted by the Pew Internet Project and Common Sense Media, and their timing appears coincidental. Researchers also caution that they offer subjective views of teachers, not definitive proof that computers, phones, and video games affect student capacity to focus. Even so, those who study technology’s impact on behavior and the brain say the studies are significant because teachers spend hours a day observing students. Nearly 90 percent of 2,462 respondents in the Pew survey said that digital technologies were creating “an easily distracted generation with short attention spans.” Similarly, of the 685 teachers surveyed in the Common Sense project, 71 percent thought technology was hurting attention spans “somewhat” or “a lot.” About 60 percent said it hindered students’ ability to write and communicate face-to-face, and almost half said it hurt critical thinking and ability to do homework. There was little difference in perception between younger and older teachers. While the Pew research explored how technology affects attention span, it also examined how it has changed student research habits. The Common Sense survey focused largely on how teachers saw the impact of technology on a range of classroom skills.
Read more: Source: PEN Newsblast