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School Climate & Safety Opinion

Is Multi-Tasking Holding Our Kids Back?

By Alexander Russo — October 09, 2007 1 min read

Most pundits say that kids multi-tasking -- doing homework with the TV on, for example -- is just the way things are now, and indeed they may be right. But in the new Atlantic author Walter Kirn says that students’ and teachers’ and indeed human beings’ brains were not made for such things. According to Kirn, our brains lose their ability to retain information if asked to do too many things at once. The implications for schooling are clear:

“The next generation, presumably, is the hardest-hit...A recent study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 53 percent of students in grades seven through 12 report consuming some other form of media while watching television; 58 percent multitask while reading; 62 percent while using the computer; and 63 percent while listening to music....This is the great irony of multitasking—that its overall goal, getting more done in less time, turns out to be chimerical. In reality, multitasking slows our thinking.”

PS: This post was written while I was on the phone and watching TV.

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