Monday, June 23, 2008

Plugged in, zoned out

By Liz Bowie Sun reporter
June 8, 2008

As teens' reliance on technology soars, parents and teachers scramble to limit usage

When River Hill High School 10th-grader Kelsey Balimtas sits down to do her homework, her cell phone and computer are always right in front of her. She would like to stay completely focused on the textbook, but honestly, she says, she just can't.

Her cell phone calls to her with an irresistible buzz she can't ignore. She bounces from homework to text message to Facebook and back to homework. "I think the quality of my homework is decreased," she admitted.

And so do college professors and high school teachers, who say this constantly plugged-in generation is less able to focus on subjects that take deep concentration. They see students who are smart but can't write long papers very well; students who have more trouble paying attention in longer class periods and students who are disorganized. Their observations are supported by more than just anecdotes from the classroom; brain research shows that it is difficult to do many things at the same time.

"They are constantly jumping from one thing to another. They can't sit still long enough," said Ilona McGuiness, dean of first-year students and academic services at Loyola College. "You can't think through problems. You can't process. You can't develop the deep thinking skills."

Read more HERE

No comments: