America’s teachers raise concerns about the impact of entertainment on learning Show Notes

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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America’s teachers are concerned about the impact that entertainment is having on learning. 

In a new poll, 71% of teachers say they believe that entertainment is hurting their student’s attention spans, and nearly 50% believe that it's keeping them from doing their homework well.

The study was done by Common Sense Media Research—and it described texting and spending time on social networks as "entertainment," alongside watching television, playing video games and listening to music.

The majority of teachers believe that such media is also hurting students' ability to write coherently and communicate face-to-face. Many teachers also say entertainment and technology are impairing critical thinking skills.

One elementary school teacher wrote this for the study, "Attention spans seem to be decreasing, as does students' abilities to persist through difficult tasks. (They'd rather just push restart and start over.)"

By the way, another new study on the impact of technology found that the “auto-complete” functions on smartphones seem to make teens faster but less accurate in cognitive tests.  Time Magazine reports that kids who are frequent texters tend to score higher in their verbal reasoning ability, but lower on actual literacy.

Scientists also believe search engines are reshaping our memories. With so much information at our fingertips, we no longer have to store it in our brains.  

And while email may be an effective way to communicate on the job, employees who juggle looking at email with other tasks suffer a temporary 10-point drop in their IQ by the end of the day.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

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