Teachers: Technology hurting attention spans

Two new studies highlight the complex effects of technology on today’s students.

In a survey of more than 2,400 teachers by the Pew Internet Project, roughly 75 percent said the Internet and search engines had a “mostly positive” impact on student research skills.

But 87 percent said digital technologies were creating “an easily distracted generation with short attention spans.” And 64 percent said today’s digital technologies “do more to distract students than to help them academically.”

In a second survey, by Common Sense Media, 71 percent of 685 teachers said they thought technology was hurting attention spans “somewhat” or “a lot.” About 60 percent said it was hurting kids’ ability to write and communicate face to face, and almost half said it hurt critical thinking and the ability to do homework.

The report from the Pew Internet Project is here.

The report from Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based non-profit that offers advises parents on “media sanity” for their children, is here.

A New York Times story on the two reports is here.

What do you think?

(Images at right from commonsensemedia.org)

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Posted on November 2, 2012, in Teaching, Technology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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