March 12, 2007

Multitasking not good for learning in that way, but maybe teaching something more worthwhile

Donald Clark carries a summary of some interesting research into multitasking teens as they instant message. It compliments nicely what I was saying about kids' 200 minutes of evening online time last Thursday at the RSA.

While multitasking appears to affect learning in the way we are used to expecting it (concentrate on one thing at a time, achieve it first then move on to the next thing) there is perhaps a more useful skill of being able to cope with different types of communication, address and medium:

So don't imagine that all of this social networking is helping people learn in the way we think they should be learning. On the other hand they may be learning skills that are far more useful - handling information, communication and people skills.

Other stats are impressive including the fact that multitasking can add seven hours of activity to your day. So is 75% of 200 minutes spent doing homework actually 75% of 380 minutes?


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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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