It’s been nearly four weeks since I wrote Digital Device Time Off, a post that described how one individual readjusted his extreme mobile phone habits, aiming to become less addicted to using his phone to fill every moment of the day.
After writing the post, I decided to keep track of my phone use, and lo and behold, I discovered that I have some of the same tendencies. So, I made a resolution to cut back a bit.
How much time do you spend on your phone? How much of that is necessary and how much is diversion? Do you pick up your phone when you suddenly have nothing to do? How about at a meal? Do you use your phone at the dinner table when conversation is supposed to be going on? How about in restaurants? These are all questions that I frequently ask myself.
Don’t babies need to be looking around and figuring out things about all the people and things around them? You know, mommy, daddy, toy, cat, dog, book, noise, quiet. I watched my daughter observing and responding to the differences in colors, light, contrasts, and people — real people — practically from the day she was born. Babies may not be able to talk or even move for a long time after birth, but they can watch real life — and they work hard and learn a lot while they do all of that looking.
Seriously, do parents want a baby to stop figuring out and organizing the real world just to look at a screen — even for a short time?
Downstairs in my basement is an old-fashioned and wonderful Fisher-Price plastic barn and silo filled with people and animals. Two generations of babies and toddlers loved those toys, and now they’re waiting down there in a corner somewhere for the next child. The silo provided hours of interest for our daughter. Once she could sit up she started watching this bright red object. Inside were safe plastic animal toys for when she was learning to grab — but mostly she would knock the silo over or bang on it.
In today’s always-connected world we feel proud of our ability to do several things at once, and many adults are even more amazed as they watch their children managing multiple tasks at the same time.
It turns out, however, that we may need to rearrange the way we work, reconsider our understanding of multi-tasking, and rethink how we supervise children when they are attending to learning activities. According toProfessor John Medina, a respected molecular biologist and author of the 2008 book, Brain Rules, the brain cannot multitask efficiently. Multi-tasking during homework times may decrease a 21st Century student’s ability to learn efficiently.
Medina’s book, an entertaining read, discusses 12 important brain rules and devotes one chapter to multitasking. Addressing the widely accepted view that in the digital age we all multi-task effectively, Dr. Medina explains why the brain has trouble with multi-tasking and why this practice can cause difficulty for learners, workers, and especially for pre-teens and adolescents. Many entertaining video explanations of the 12 brain rules are posted on his website. Continue reading “Multi-tasking May Be a Myth Says John Medina”→
I will also look forward to hearing how he believes schools should expand their visions on education.
Dr. John Medina, the author of Brain Rules, will also be speaking. Dr. Medina speaks fast and animatedly, and I’ve heard him speak two times. Here’s a MediaTechParenting post, Multitasking is a Myth, that I wrote some time ago after hearing Medina deliver a lecture and reading his book, Brain Rules.