Often to the angst of their parents, many children spend time texting, watching television, listening to music and surfing the Internet –all while studying for tests and doing their homework. Based on the article below, the big question is: Can young people who have grown up with new technologies multitask more effectively than older generations, specifically their parents? “Kids are spending an extraordinary amount of time with media,” says Dr. Victor C. Strasburger, a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. “We don’t really know what they pay attention to, what they don’t. We don’t know how it impacts their school performance, whether it impacts their school performance.”
While studies have shown a decrease in productivity among adults who multi-task, some scientists surmise that the elasticity of the brain of children and teens might be more adept at these kind of mental gymnastics, but the verdict is still out. “The literature looking at media and its impact on attentional skills is just in its infancy,” said Renee Hobbs, a professor of mass media and communications at Temple University and a specialist in media literacy.
Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington mentions a digital divide, previously between the rich and poor, but now between parents and their children. “Parents are digital immigrants,” says Dr. Christakis. “We’re fairly clueless about the digital world they inhabit.” According to Harris M. Cooper, a professor of psychology at Duke, “One of the things that homework is supposed to do for us is help us generalize where we feel we can learn.” Harris offers this advice to parents: “If they’re doing well [in school], permitting them to have some choice permits them to find their own style.”
Regardless of media’s impact on studying, students need the requisite skills to process and absorb new information in order to thrive in school, career and life. LifeBound’s Study Skills book is an effective tool for helping students develop their own best strategies for learning. To view a sample chapter and lesson plan, visit www.lifebound.com and click on books. To request a review copy of this book, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free 1.877.737.8510.
New York Times
October 13, 2009
18 and Under
Texting, Surfing, Studying?
By PERRI KLASS, M.D.
Certain subjects make self-righteous parents of us all: our children thinking they are doing homework when in reality the text messages are flying, the Internet browsers are open, the video is streaming, the loud rock music is blaring on the turntable — oh, wait, sorry, that last one was our parents complaining about us.
Heaven knows, I understand the feeling. And not just as a pediatrician. I have my own children — a high school student, a college student and a medical student — and I know the drill.
But if you ask the experts, they are pretty unanimous that we don’t know much.
“The literature looking at media and its impact on attentional skills is just in its infancy,” said Renee Hobbs, a professor of mass media and communications at Temple University and a specialist in media literacy.
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