Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Our "Digital Nation" and how we can cope with it as parents

Digital Nation-A Frontline video about distraction by technology

My eighth grader has begun studying in a way that scares me. She has her homework open in MS Word on the computer while she flips back and forth to facebook, all the while listening to music on her Ipod and checking her phone every minute or so. This is what all the kids do now. They want to feel connected to their friends through their phone and facebook while they are doing homework. But I know my child. She has told me that she needs a room to be silent in order to read. She loves to read but finds it hard to read at school because she gets too distracted at her desk. She is strong in her opinions about her learning style. We had to change her Bat Mitzvah tutor because she needed someone who understood that she couldn’t be interrupted in the middle of a thought or a sentence in Hebrew.

Then why is she studying in this way that she knows doesn't work for her?  And why I am worried about it? Frontline has  released a video on an indepth study of this phenomena.   This video, which is an hour and a half long, talks about how media influences our children in the way they study and learn. Studies of college students at MIT and Stanford demonstrate how the brain is not really able to multi-task. Kids these days will tell you that they can successfully multitask better than any generation before them because they have been raised on technology. But when you watch this program you will see that the studies and science tells us that this is false. The brain has not changed. Technology has changed how we work but it still does not change how the brain functions. The brain needs to concentrate in order to create pathways of knowledge.

Watch this show and learn how these top notch students try to multitask with multiple forms of technology at one time and fail. This is the world your little ones will grow up in. And we as parents need to help them to navigate the waters of technology so they can be successful in life with multiple forms of media but still be able to concentrate and turn them all off in order to be good writers and readers.

No comments:

Post a Comment