A new research study conducted by Patricia Greenfield, UCLA distinguished professor of psychology and director of the Children’s Digital Media Center, Los Angeles, concludes that learners have changed due to the exposure to technology.
The question arises as to how much technology should be used in schools?
Here are some of the results of Greenfield’s research, as reported in Science Daily:
– reading for pleasure…enhances thinking and engages the imagination in a way that visual media such as video games and television do not,
– reading develops imagination, induction, reflection and critical thinking, as well as vocabulary,
– visual media gives students a better picture of what they know,
– visual media helps students process information better,
– real-time media (television or video games) does not allow time for reflection, analysis or imagination,
– multi-tasking prevents people from getting a deeper understanding of information (this includes allowing students to use the Internet during a class),
– playing realistic video games improves the ability to multi-task.
My take on this is that everything should be done in balance. We need different skills to accomplish different tasks in life. As teachers, we need to help students develop different skills. If the traditional methods of teaching and introducing technology to the classroom serve different purposes and develop different skills then their use should be matched to the objectives of a lesson and to the learning styles of the students.
It is good that research has been done on the subject and we now know with certainty the results of the use of traditional techniques versus technology and, as teachers, can plan accordingly to best serve our students.
What do you think?