You’re not alone. In just a few short years, many of us have become addicted to our mobile devices. They’re nearly always within arm’s reach, and many of us cannot help ourselves from checking them (or fixating on them) regularly, no matter where we are, what we’re doing, or who we’re with.
What does that mean for students and learning? Bryan Goodwin, president and CEO of McREL, takes a look at what the research says in his latest column for Educational Leadership. What he finds is that, while we know some educators are doing great things with mobile device technology in the classroom, such approaches are too new to have been subjected to rigorous study.
What the limited research so far tells us is cautionary: 1) laptop use in classrooms may actually diminish attention and focus; 2) interruptions caused by texting decrease attention and comprehension, and 3) mobile devices and the Internet may be habit-forming. Further, researchers are concerned that our ability to concentrate, in general, is decreasing and that mobile devices may cause students to think they are multitasking successfully—which they’re not.
However, as Goodwin notes, whether we like it or not, mobile devices are a “fixture of modern life.” So he suggests teaching students how to live and learn with them. For example, research supports two key ways students can fend off technology distractions: by focusing learning in short sprints, followed by brief breaks, and taking hand-written notes.
Read the entire column here.
Posted by McREL International.