How Does Multitasking Change the Way Kids Learn?

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Using tech tools that students are familiar with and already enjoy using is attractive to educators, but getting students focused on the project at hand might be more difficult because of it.

Living rooms, dens, kitchens, even bedrooms: Investigators followed students into the spaces where homework gets done. Pens poised over their “study observation forms,” the observers watched intently as the students—in middle school, high school, and college, 263 in all—opened their books and turned on their computers.

For a quarter of an hour, the investigators from the lab of Larry Rosen, a psychology professor at California State University-Dominguez Hills, marked down once a minute what the students were doing as they studied. A checklist on the form included: reading a book, writing on paper, typing on the computer—and also using email, looking at Facebook, engaging in instant messaging, texting, talking on the phone, watching television, listening to music, surfing the web. Sitting unobtrusively at the back of the room, the observers counted the number of windows open on the students’ screens and noted whether the students were wearing ear-buds.

Although the students had been told at the outset that they should “study something important, including homework, an upcoming examination or project, or reading a book for a course,” it wasn’t long before their attention drifted: Students’ “on-task behavior” started declining around the two-minute mark as they began responding to arriving texts or checking their Facebook feeds. By the time the 15 minutes were up, they had spent only about 65 percent of the observation period actually doing their schoolwork.

“We were amazed at how frequently they multitasked, even though they knew someone was watching,” Rosen says. “It really seems that they could not go for 15 minutes without engaging their devices,” adding, “It was kind of scary, actually.”

“I don’t care if a kid wants to tweet while she’s watching American Idol, or have music on while he plays a video game. But when students are doing serious work with their minds, they have to have focus.”

Concern about young people’s use of technology is nothing new, of course. But Rosen’s study, published in the May issue of Computers in Human Behavior, is part of a growing body of research focused on a very particular use of technology: media multitasking while learning. Attending to multiple streams of information and entertainment while studying, doing homework, or even sitting in class has become common behavior among young people—so common that many of them rarely write a paper or complete a problem set any other way.

But evidence from psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience suggests that when students multitask while doing schoolwork, their learning is far spottier and shallower than if the work had their full attention. They understand and remember less, and they have greater difficulty transferring their learning to new contexts. So detrimental is this practice that some researchers are proposing that a new prerequisite for academic and even professional success—the new marshmallow test of self-discipline—is the ability to resist a blinking inbox or a buzzing phone.

The media multitasking habit starts early. In “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds,” a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and published in 2010, almost a third of those surveyed said that when they were doing homework, “most of the time” they were also watching TV, texting, listening to music, or using some other medium. The lead author of the study was Victoria Rideout, then a vice president at Kaiser and now an independent research and policy consultant. Although the study looked at all aspects of kids’ media use, Rideout told me she was particularly troubled by its findings regarding media multitasking while doing schoolwork.

“This is a concern we should have distinct from worrying about how much kids are online or how much kids are media multitasking overall. It’s multitasking while learning that has the biggest potential downside,” she says. “I don’t care if a kid wants to tweet while she’s watching American Idol, or have music on while he plays a video game. But when students are doing serious work with their minds, they have to have focus.”

“Parents can draw a line when it comes to homework and studying—telling their kids, ‘This is a time when you will concentrate on just one thing.’ ”

For older students, the media multitasking habit extends into the classroom. While most middle and high school students don’t have the opportunity to text, email, and surf the Internet during class, studies show the practice is nearly universal among students in college and professional school. One large survey found that 80 percent of college students admit to texting during class; 15 percent say they send 11 or more texts in a single class period.

During the first meeting of his courses, Rosen makes a practice of calling on a student who is busy with his phone. “I ask him, ‘What was on the slide I just showed to the class?’ The student always pulls a blank,” Rosen reports. “Young people have a wildly inflated idea of how many things they can attend to at once, and this demonstration helps drive the point home: If you’re paying attention to your phone, you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in class.” Other professors have taken a more surreptitious approach, installing electronic spyware or planting human observers to record whether students are taking notes on their laptops or using them for other, unauthorized purposes.

Such steps may seem excessive, even paranoid: After all, isn’t technology increasingly becoming an intentional part of classroom activities and homework assignments? Educators are using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as social sites created just for schools, such as Edmodo, to communicate with students, take class polls, assign homework, and have students collaborate on projects. But researchers are concerned about the use of laptops, tablets, cell phones, and other technology for purposes quite apart from schoolwork. Now that these devices have been admitted into classrooms and study spaces, it has proven difficult to police the line between their approved and illicit use by students.

[RELATED: The Pitfalls and Promises of Facebook, Social Media, and Kids]

In the study involving spyware, for example, two professors of business administration at the University of Vermont found that “students engage in substantial multitasking behavior with their laptops and have non course-related software applications open and active about 42 percent of the time.” The professors, James Kraushaar and David Novak, obtained students’ permission before installing the monitoring software on their computers—so, as in Rosen’s study, the students were engaging in flagrant multitasking even though they knew their actions were being recorded.

Another study, carried out at St. John’s University in New York, used human observers stationed at the back of the classroom to record the technological activities of law students. The spies reported that 58 percent of second- and third-year law students who had laptops in class were using them for “non-class purposes” more than half the time. (First-year students were far more likely to use their computers for taking notes, although an observer did note one first-year student texting just 17 minutes into her very first class—the beginning of her law school career.)

CAN THE BRAIN MULTITASK?

Texting, emailing, and posting on Facebook and other social media sites are by far the most common digital activities students undertake while learning, according to Rosen. That’s a problem, because these operations are actually quite mentally complex, and they draw on the same mental resources—using language, parsing meaning—demanded by schoolwork.

David Meyer, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan who’s studied the effects of divided attention on learning, takes a firm line on the brain’s ability to multitask: “Under most conditions, the brain simply cannot do two complex tasks at the same time. It can happen only when the two tasks are both very simple and when they don’t compete with each other for the same mental resources. An example would be folding laundry and listening to the weather report on the radio. That’s fine. But listening to a lecture while texting, or doing homework and being on Facebook—each of these tasks is very demanding, and each of them uses the same area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex.”

Young people think they can perform two challenging tasks at once, Meyer acknowledges, but “they are deluded,” he declares. It’s difficult for anyone to properly evaluate how well his or her own mental processes are operating, he points out, because most of these processes are unconscious. And, Meyer adds, “there’s nothing magical about the brains of so-called ‘digital natives’ that keeps them from suffering the inefficiencies of multitasking. They may like to do it, they may even be addicted to it, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s far better to focus on one task from start to finish.”

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Researchers have documented a cascade of negative outcomes that occurs when students multitask while doing schoolwork. First, the assignment takes longer to complete, because of the time spent on distracting activities and because, upon returning to the assignment, the student has to re-familiarize himself with the material.

Second, the mental fatigue caused by repeatedly dropping and picking up a mental thread leads to more mistakes. The cognitive cost of such task-switching is especially high when students alternate between tasks that call for different sets of expressive “rules”—the formal, precise language required for an English essay, for example, and the casual, friendly tone of an email to a friend.

Third, students’ subsequent memory of what they’re working on will be impaired if their attention is divided. Although we often assume that our memories fail at the moment we can’t recall a fact or concept, the failure may actually have occurred earlier, at the time we originally saved, or encoded, the memory. The moment of encoding is what matters most for retention, and dozens of laboratory studies have demonstrated that when our attention is divided during encoding, we remember that piece of information less well—or not at all. As the unlucky student spotlighted by Rosen can attest, we can’t remember something that never really entered our consciousness in the first place. And a study last month showed that students who multitask on laptops in class distract not just themselves but also their peers who see what they’re doing.

Fourth, some research has suggested that when we’re distracted, our brains actually process and store information in different, less useful ways. In a 2006 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Russell Poldrack of the University of Texas-Austin and two colleagues asked participants to engage in a learning activity on a computer while also carrying out a second task, counting musical tones that sounded while they worked. Study subjects who did both tasks at once appeared to learn just as well as subjects who did the first task by itself. But upon further probing, the former group proved much less adept at extending and extrapolating their new knowledge to novel contexts—a key capacity that psychologists call transfer.

“This is not some universal norm that students and parents can’t buck. This is not an unreasonable thing to ask of your kid.”

Brain scans taken during Poldrack’s experiment revealed that different regions of the brain were active under the two conditions, indicating that the brain engages in a different form of memory when forced to pay attention to two streams of information at once. The results suggest, the scientists wrote, that “even if distraction does not decrease the overall level of learning, it can result in the acquisition of knowledge that can be applied less flexibly in new situations.”

Finally, researchers are beginning to demonstrate that media multitasking while learning is negatively associated with students’ grades. In Rosen’s study, students who used Facebook during the 15-minute observation period had lower grade-point averages than those who didn’t go on the site. And two recent studies by Reynol Junco, a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, found that texting and using Facebook—in class and while doing

[RELATED: Doomed or Lucky? Predicting the Future of the Internet Generation]

homework—were negatively correlated with college students’ GPAs. “Engaging in Facebook use or texting while trying to complete schoolwork may tax students’ capacity for cognitive processing and preclude deeper learning,” write Junco and a coauthor. (Of course, it’s also plausible that the texting and Facebooking students are those with less willpower or motivation, and thus likely to have lower GPAs even aside from their use of technology.)

HELPING KIDS PRIORITIZE

Meyer, of the University of Michigan, worries that the problem goes beyond poor grades. “There’s a definite possibility that we are raising a generation that is learning more shallowly than young people in the past,” he says. “The depth of their processing of information is considerably less, because of all the distractions available to them as they learn.”

Given that these distractions aren’t going away, academic and even professional achievement may depend on the ability to ignore digital temptations while learning—a feat akin to the famous marshmallow test. In a series of experiments conducted more than 40 years ago, psychologist Walter Mischel tempted young children with a marshmallow, telling them they could have two of the treats if they put off eating one right away. Follow-up studies performed years later found that the kids who were better able to delay gratification not only achieved higher grades and test scores but were also more likely to succeed in school and their careers.

Two years ago, Rosen and his colleagues conducted an information-age version of the marshmallow test. College students who participated in the study were asked to watch a 30-minute videotaped lecture, during which some were sent eight text messages while others were sent four or zero text messages. Those who were interrupted more often scored worse on a test of the lecture’s content; more interestingly, those who responded to the experimenters’ texts right away scored significantly worse than those participants who waited to reply until the lecture was over.

“Listening to a lecture while texting, or doing homework and being on Facebook—each of these tasks is very demanding, and each of them uses the same area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex.”

This ability to resist the lure of technology can be consciously cultivated, Rosen maintains. He advises students to take “tech breaks” to satisfy their cravings for electronic communication: After they’ve labored on their schoolwork uninterrupted for 15 minutes, they can allow themselves two minutes to text, check websites, and post to their hearts’ content. Then the devices get turned off for another 15 minutes of academics.

Over time, Rosen says, students are able extend their working time to 20, 30, even 45 minutes, as long as they know that an opportunity to get online awaits. “Young people’s technology use is really about quelling anxiety,” he contends. “They don’t want to miss out. They don’t want to be the last person to hear some news, or the ninth person to ‘like’ someone’s post.” Device-checking is a compulsive behavior that must be managed, he says, if young people are to learn and perform at their best.

Rideout, director of the Kaiser study on kids and media use, sees an upside for parents in the new focus on multitasking while learning. “The good thing about this phenomenon is that it’s a relatively discrete behavior that parents actually can do something about,” she says. “It would be hard to enforce a total ban on media multitasking, but parents can draw a line when it comes to homework and studying—telling their kids, ‘This is a time when you will concentrate on just one thing.’ ”

[RELATED: How Meditating Helps With Multitasking]

Parents shouldn’t feel like ogres when they do so, she adds. “It’s important to remember that while a lot of kids do media multitask while doing homework, a lot of them don’t. One out of five kids in our study said they ‘never’ engage in other media while doing homework, and another one in five said they do so only ‘a little bit.’ This is not some universal norm that students and parents can’t buck. This is not an unreasonable thing to ask of your kid.”

So here’s the takeaway for parents of Generation M: Stop fretting about how much they’re on Facebook. Don’t harass them about how much they play video games. The digital native boosters are right that this is the social and emotional world in which young people live. Just make sure when they’re doing schoolwork, the cell phones are silent, the video screens are dark, and that every last window is closed but one.

This story was produced by MindShift in conjunction with The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education-news outlet based at Teachers College, Columbia University and Slate.

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  • http://twitter.com/DegreeofFree Degree of Freedom

    Fascinationg article, and I don’t think the results describe just younger learners. For even with the dicipline i’ve been trying to develop as an older student taking several online classes, I still find myself jumping from thing to thing uless I put extra special effort into staying on task. In fact, I was not able to get through reading this article without switching over to something else at least once. So anyone who has thrown their lot in with this technology (which includes me) needs to understand that our brains will not be the same at the end of this process as they were in the beginning.

  • http://twitter.com/jengossman Jenifer Gossman

    I have a 17 year old that is a junior in high school. She has always made excellent grades and continues to do so. Her study habits have always been pretty good. However, she does love that cell phone. It is obvious she can’t hardly put it down. I refuse to let them have it at the dinner table. Recently she had several very important exams. I found out after the fact that she gave her cell phone to her brother and told him to hide it and to not give it to her under any circumstances. A few hours later she emerged and was quite surprised at how productive she was without the distraction of her cell phone.

    As a parent and a teacher – I value the ability to multi-task. However, I believe that is just a part of an adult’s life and we shouldn’t expect our children to have those same stresses. Unfortunately, with the demands of education and life in general children are faced with growing up alot faster than some of us adults did. Therefore, I believe that when they begin learning how to multi-task they are developing the skill of time management and curating the discipline needed to be productive with their studies. Every person, every child, is different. As long as parents are aware of what they are doing and how they are doing in school – it is the digital age. We have to take a step back and realize that children today are programmed much differently than we were.

    • poxijubijabi

      my best friend’s step-mother makes $61 hourly on the laptop. She has been unemployed for 5 months but last month her pay check was $21069 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on  Zap22.c­om

      • Carlo Alfaro

        she must be a music producer…

    • http://www.hypnosisdownloadmp3.com/ Hypnosis Downloads

      Every person is different, but there are still universal principles. People (both adults and kids) learn the most effectively when they’re focused on just the learning, and not dividing their attention between different tasks that compete for the same mental resources.

    • Carlo Alfaro

      The last statement I believe to be very true but multitasking whether it is a cell phone or not still still prevents complete focus to both tasks.

      • Arnold Schwarzenegger

        Yes I agree that technology is a big hindrance during learning.. You feel me?

    • TakovaB

      I agree with you Jenifer Gossman. The children of this generation “are programmed differently” which means to me that they are not us. These children were born into a new age and will one day be our future leaders. In order for them to be successful, they have to learn discipline by their own hands and be able to depend on themselves. Each generation has it’s own challenges and advancements which are to be explored by the children of that generation so that human kind can continue to prosper. Yes, people need discipline, but they also need to be able to multitask in order to be successful businessmen and women of their generation.

      • DrowningIn1and0s

        That’s all fine, except when these businessman make the wrong and often disastrous decisions because they’re distracted half the time.

    • Jovina Sok

      I agree with you. Everyone is different and each expectation is slightly different from one another. Adults shouldn’t completely cut off their kids from devices, but should rather moderate them and make sure that they’re not to infatuated with it so they can also concentrate on school.

    • Ethan H

      When
      she gave her phone to her brother, she admitted that she had a problem
      that was interfering with her ability to do work. The first step to
      solving a problem is to admit that it exists. She recognized her phone
      as a problem and hopefully she did it on her own because teenagers
      should have the common sense to see that their social life shouldn’t
      intrude on their studies and take first priority. We can all learn something from living without our gadgets.

    • SiouxsieH

      I feel like the important part is what you concluded with, it is hard to avoid technology we live in a digital age. However there is a right place and a right time for it.

    • Andrew Bonifacio

      Yes I think technology limits our potential. If we were to put the phone down and focus on our work then we would be way more efficient on test.

    • TD

      It is a good thing that your daughter recognized her phone was a problem. Her self-control to say no and giving it up shows that she’s very willing to put her studies first. She is not wasting her valuable education on checking her electronic device.

    • DominickChavez

      Obviously your daughter has control of herself, but I know people that say music helps them work and without it they aren’t as focused as they know they can be. Listening to music helps them feel more productive, and I don’t know if it’s true or not, but perhaps if they didn’t listen to music they would be more focused. I just thought I’d say that.

    • Ibrahim B

      I definitely agree with this article. I am a student and sometimes I do fall under this category of texting or listening to music while doing work. Sometimes it throws me off, for example. When i’m texting and I text a word like “wat” in the text message. When I go back to do my homework I would automatically write “wat” instead of “what”, Id do this because my mind isn’t used to switching the way I talk or write when i’m just texting to the way I write when I need to be formal.

    • Alan Freeman

      It seems like modern generations don’t appreciate the education that they are given. What’s more important in a person’s life; a celebrity getting a haircut, or knowledge that is needed for the career that you want? It’s great that your daughter realized how much better she did when she didn’t use her cell phone since it will be a strong reminder for her in the future to not bother with a text message or update.

    • Kemal Idrisov

      I am a 18 year old student and I don’t feel the same temptation that was described in the article. I am not trying to sound like a mature adult who is perfect, but honestly all that information that people post seems useless to me. It does not benefit me, so I don’t pay attention to it. As far is a media goes all I do is text other people when I need something from them other than that I do not bother. I watch videos and play a little bit of video games if I am bored only for entertainment purposes.

    • Shaira

      I think what your daughter did was a very brilliant idea. To let go of something you are really addicted is very hard to do, but if you really want to do it, you’ll do it for your own sake.

    • Jessica X

      I agree that every person is different because they think differently. Nowadays there are many things that can be a distraction of doing school work.

    • Aimee

      I
      just found Skydog on Kickstarter looking to be crowd funded. It looks
      like it can address many of these issues,
      especially kids and their homework. They claim it is an easy-to-use
      Wi-Fi router that provides great visibility and control of your home
      network. Skydog gives parental
      oversight of kids’ online access, such as blocking Internet sites,
      monitoring activities and setting limits on gaming and social media —
      all from your smartphone. The link, which includes press coverage and
      an explanatory video, are on Skydog’s Kickstarter page:
      http://www.kickstarter.com

    • Anmei X

      I agree that everyone is different, and your daughter did a very great job. To put away something that is addicted is very hard.

    • SusannahB

      I think it’s great she could do that and it’s important to be able to take a break from online and remember that it’s not really that important.

    • Ariana Alonso

      I agree that work gets done faster without the distraction of technology.

    • Justin Padriquilla

      I agree with you, but after reading this article I learned that in order to get the best possible grade on a certain assignment one must be focused on that one assignment and not multitask.

    • C Souza

      I totally agree with this post considering that I am a student myself and i find myself in the same predicament, I think this has inspired me to try this considering that finals are in two weeks .

    • Athena B

      We all need to accept that our gadgets distract us from what should really be our first priority. I used to think that multitasking is ok because i still get good grades and finish my work but now i understand that i should know when the right time is to use my gadgets and that it could affect the quality of my work.

    • Karina

      I understand the ability to multi-task may be just a part of life especially as a teacher. However, I think that this article is pointing out that multitasking *while* working on homework or doing another mental task, can lead to worse grades and poorer learning. When I work and have many things to do, I make sure to plan everything I need to get done down, and then have laser focus during each task. It’s not something that I was a natural at… I have had cell phones all my life pretty much. It took me a long time to get to this point and I try to instill some of this to my students as well.

  • http://twitter.com/mzteachuh Melanie Taylor, M.Ed

    Too many tech toys–for all of us.

    • alisha652

      like Joshua answered I’m dazzled that people able to make $6277 in 1 month on the computer. did you see this link w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • http://twitter.com/JMitchinson Jane Mitchinson

    Such an important topic to not only discuss with our kids, but to plan out some action in helping them navigate the demands of the tech world. I teach my students about the importance of single task attention by trying out a test David Meyer gave me when I interviewed him a little while back for a documentary. I also talked to him about coping with the stress of multi-tasking and how to decompress. Former Apple and Microsoft exec Linda Stone is also in the video http://janemitchinson.ca/2011/09/dealing-with-the-stress-of-living-in-a-high-tech-world/

    Here’s a preview of the whole documentary about teens and the tech tether called Conditioned To Be On Call. It has interviews from David Buckingham and danah boyd as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gft_AEp9Woc

  • Johnny

    Well, it’ll certainly be quite interesting to get both kids and grown ups-yes, by “grown ups” I am referring to us, college ss- to be able to use those particular devices which on a regular basis do nothing but negatively affect the teaching-learning process to our advantage, looking at it as both teachers and ss. Still, seems too good to be true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.laroche.98 David Laroche

    Great blog… Important information for learners of all ages… Good research brought in here.

  • JM

    Took me extra ability to not switch to something else when I was reading this article, I bet it took mor han 30 min for me to finish…still I’m proud of myself for staying on task while reading this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/curiousdwk David Kimball

    Meyer said, “There’s a definite possibility that we are raising a generation that is learning more shallowly than young people in the past.” Perhaps this explains the rise in popularity in FOX Entertainment (I refuse to call it FOX News). Where else will the “shallow learners” go for their entertainment?

  • Cookie Morgan

    I read a study recently that came to the conclusion that multitasking results in almost nothing being done with excellent results and any solid learning that is often superficial and lacks depth and retention. The job may get done, but it is not going to win any awards or trophies.

    • Carlo Alfaro

      I agree with that conclusion because having two focus on more than one task simultaneously is possible but not as productive. As for in class multitasking will put less focus to what is being taught and important information may be ignored.

    • Jeremy Jankins

      DO YOU QUARREL SIR?

      • Gunther Maxwell

        I DO BITE MY THUMB AT YOU SIR!

        • Juliet Capulet

          Romeo, O Romeo where art thou Romeo?

      • Xeina

        INDEED

    • Shariff

      I strongly disagree with this because I multitask and I still get stuff done.

    • Carlos Perfume

      I agree and disagree at the same time because sometimes i can get stuff done while doing to things at a time but some people cannot complete things when they are multitasking because they start to do something more then the other

    • Kobe Schwinges

      I agree with this because I experience this on a daily basis. Its really reasonable ’cause if you are multitasking you are only using a lower percentage of your brain on your work and are allocating focus on other things.

    • Ethan H

      When
      you’re focused on one thing, you put your full effort into it. When you
      put your full effort into two things at the exact same time, they each
      get half of your effort. It isn’t the best logic, but the overall
      message is true and it should be obvious to people, yet more are
      gravitated toward the enticing world of technology than ever before.
      Maybe the parents just don’t know how to deal with it because they never
      experienced it as a kid and don’t know the long term consequences to
      help direct kids away from excessive use, but it doesn’t matter how the
      problem came around as much as it has to be limited.

    • Andrew Bonifacio

      I feel like when you multitask, you will still get your work done, but it won’t be good quality work that we are capable of doing.

    • SiouxsieH

      I agree, continued distraction makes the person performing the task lose his or her train of focus and thus allowing for the quality of work diminish every time the mind switches to respond to a text, comment, etc.

    • Alan Freeman

      I would rather focus on one task at a time and do really well on all of them than do all of my assignments at the same time and do decently or badly on them. Some people would use the argument that you get work done faster to that I say, “quality over quantity.”

    • Athena B

      I think the study that you read is more or less accurate. Focusing on one thing, you really give it your all. Your whole brain is directed to a particular assignment so it’s doing everything to perfect it. When you work on 2 things only part of your ability to perfect it is being given so the result is not the best that you could have done.

  • Chris Amor

    Could
    it be that it just a case of disengagement standing out more because it
    is wearing new clothing?

    Although
    I agree with the negative effects of impulsive multi-tasking,
    I am curious as to whether we are just analysing student disengagement
    expressing itself through different behaviour. Even before smart phones,
    ipods, internet and social media, if you were to tell a class to sit
    down and “study something important” I find it hard to believe that you
    wouldn’t find similar levels of off task behaviour. Infact, it is
    possible that left to their own devices the class may have even been
    more disrupted, as the off task behaviour would have been expressed less
    individually and more through peer distraction

  • Kerron Worsdell

    I think we need to help learners clearly make the distinction between complex tasks and simple ones. Multitasking is ok for simple tasks but for complex ones, full concentration is required.

  • CameronJRoe

    I see this in class all the time.. students on their phone or facebook. It’s not a myth that this is a serious issue in the classroom, but here’s my take on it. If the teacher isn’t engaging the student, why would they ever want to put away their phone which has a plethora of information on it. It’s a serious problem in education nowadays that teachers aren’t using technology effectively. They end up letting it become the distraction instead of the solution.

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  • Goran Hajdin

    Great & to the point article!

  • Jimmy Jay Johnson

    Wow that was very interesting

  • jamal

    great article XD

  • Alex Ingalls

    1. When you multitask you are turning your attention from one thing to another, and you start to lose focus. Usually whatever you are doing, you don’t try as hard as you would if you had full attention.

    2. When you’re a teenager it’s the worst, because you always feel like you can multitask with a cell phone. It’s really hard to do, so your 17 year old put all of his/her attention on her exams without her phone, and she did good. So phones really distract kids from learning a lot.

    3. I agree with your comment, because multitasking tasks your full attention away from things, so you don’t try your hardest on things. Even if you do finish the work or job, it wont be your best work, and you might miss something or get stuff wrong.

  • Terrel figures

    I really agrees that older students should take several social media classes and need more collaborating.

  • Jimmy Nguyen

    Some teen can get stuff done without using a phone. Even though they say they get it done, it won’t be enough to get a good grade. The story I read was a about a girl in high school as a junior and the mother said that she is a heavy multitasking and there was a big exam and she told her brother to hold on to her phone and not give it to her in any circumstances and she got her work done and got a great grade. This is good, because she knew what her phone would do to her. Multitasking is a game of monopoly, you don’t know the outcome of the future.

  • Destiny Kelly

    its very true and i think kids should relize it more what they doing and chose one thing they doing at one time the geraration is very different then long time ago they didnt have that much technaogloy they do now

  • armani johnson

    this article is crazy because i do this a lot myself and i know some of my friends do the same thing. So this article helped me realize that it is not always a good thing to multitask

  • Shariff

    I think that this is only with certain people because I can multi task and get work done fast

  • Kadeef Salaam

    The art of multitasking has been around for millions of years. So the fact that students are doing there homework and at the same time going on Facebook to check their news feed should not surprise anyone one bit. You have to realize everyone is different, there are people who can text their friend and at the same time be doing important work. And there are people who are only capable of doing one thing at a time. I honestly don’t have a problem with multitasking. You just have to make sure you’re able to do both tasks at hand.

  • Jovina Sok

    I don’t see why other kids like me have to always have to always be on
    their phone or always have to text in class. It’s alright to have your
    phone and stuff just don’t always have your face glued to your phone. It’s a really big distraction.

  • timaya brown

    this is crazy because i know alot of people that do this and i sometimes do it myself also and now i know its a bad thing to do this so im going to tell the people i see doing to stop

  • Blake C

    I agree on the fact that people are addicted to their cell phones. It’s
    a great way to keep in touch with others and to become technologically
    advanced, but it does distract us from the most important things such as
    studying. Cell phones distract us from focusing on studying, which as a
    result, we don’t remember all the information that we wanted to. The
    brain can’t process two different things at the same time, I believe
    that multitasking leads to not fully understanding their topic.

    I agree upon the fact that multitasking results in nothing being done
    because it doesn’t allow the brain to fully grasp the idea and keep it
    in the memory. Multitasking means that you aren’t putting all your
    energy into one topic, resulting in a decrease in understanding in it.
    When people multitask, most people cant really focus and try to do an
    excellent job on it, which they just try to get it over with and it is
    only of average work.

  • hussian musleh

    I agree with this because I have trouble multi tasking and it interferes with my work .

  • Carlos Perfume

    I believe that multitasking is a skill, not necessarily everybody can do it but that does not mean that people get less work done because they are multitasking. They should be more aware if one thing like homework is more important than going on Facebook its fine to take 2 minutes off of the homework but you should always get back on it.

  • RJoyner.EHS

    I believe the main idea of this article was to show what electronics have done to today’s generation of kids. It’s crazy seeing how these devices affect us on hand but what are we really going to do about it?

  • Leeroy Jenkins

    LLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
    AAHHHH
    JJJJJJJJJJJJJJEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

  • christian romo

    the concept of kids prioritizing is pretty difficult to grasp due to the fact that im currently in high school. personally, i’m a procrastinator myslef, but seeing kids all day putting off assignments to go hangout or get on the phone with there boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t suprise me. so the overall idea of “prioritizing” is a longshot for us teenagers

  • Maryam

    There’s a simple solution to this problem. Ritalin or Adderall :)

  • Alex Hernandez

    I think that a lot of kids,no all kids have problems with their phones because we cant ever get off. To me it is as addicting as chocolate cake. Now,l we are used to multitasking.

  • Erkhes Baterdene

    The article is quite surprising. I’m one of those teenagers that
    multitask while learning or doing homework and I haven’t felt as if I
    was crippling myself. It makes sense though, because the brain can only
    focus on one thing with it’s full attention.

    • Erkhes Baterdene

      It makes sense that the 17 year old girl was more productive with her devices away. A lot of time is spent multitasking and thinking about what we just saw or heard for several minutes while doing the other task and when we’re multitasking, we’re not as productive as we can be.

      I disagree to a certain extent. Multitasking gets SOME work done, a fairly large portion, although you are not doing as much as you COULD.

  • TD

    I agree with this article. We must learn to control our usage of electronics before it gets out of hand. Wasting easy homework points for a text isn’t worth it. It isn’t just homework; in life, we will have important jobs and being careless, making small mistakes could have a big chance of us being fired. Everyone wants to do well, so we should start by turning the phone off, and putting our full attention on the most important task.

  • Ariana Alonso

    This makes me want to stop using technology while doing my homework because then I could finish faster. Though using technology while working is really common now, it still does not make it something good. When I read this I realized that the need to check your phone or facebook is compulsive behavior. I agree that being distracted makes work take longer, but it can also get done.

  • Abby Salvador

    I was horrified to realized that I was among the people to fall into this category. I realize that the nights I end up staying up late are the nights I had my cell phone near me. I know that the most productive I am is when a phone, laptop, or tablet is not near while I work. Unfortunately, the longest I’ve truthfully had all my technological devices put away during work was an hour at most – usually, when my phone was completely dead in battery – until I finally caved into my desire to check all my social media pages/text messages.

    Response #1:

    I remember trying to do something similar when I was set on finishing loads of work in one sitting without any long breaks in between each lengthy assignment. I gave my phone to my brother and I told him to keep it away from me. Within 20 minutes, thoughts of my twitter timeline and instagram feed began to taunt me to the point that I demanded he return my phone. At the time, I didn’t see it as a big deal; but, now I can’t help but feel extreme disgust at the power technology has over me.

    Response #2

    I agree with this readers comment. Award worthy work is often when all focus was given to it. It’s impossible to produce amazing work if one’s brain is split into handling several different tasks. I know that the best work I accomplish is when I concentrate completely on that particular job/assignment. I admit that I’m not the best at multi tasking, but apparently no one else really is either. .

  • Andrew Bonifacio

    My overall reaction to the article is not surprising to me. I know this from experience. In my freshman year of highschool I did not have a phone or an xbox. I was very limited on technology. But that year I got my work done faster and efficient. Then sophmore year I acquired a phone and my homework to much longer to complete than freshman year. I was more exposed to distractions such as a phone and a xbox.

  • William Yu

    My overall reaction to the article would be that I was shocked. I
    could not believe that multitasking could cause such distractions since I
    multitask myself.

    I feel that when the mind focuses on one
    certain objective, it can result in a much more productive person. Your
    daughter obviously is a great student and is probably even better
    without her cell phone!

    I understand how multitasking can result in nothing being done and do agree that being distracted from multitasking will not result in a top notch assignment.

  • SiouxsieH

    I feel like that digital devices and technology in general is a great distraction to learning as well as a great asset. It is important to regulate ourselves and know that although accessible it is not always the right time to use it, that is what as a whole we need to accomplish.

  • Amin Ahmed

    This doesn’t surprise me because I have experienced with my cell phone once. Multitasking causes me to not do good. I have realized that being on my cell phone every ten minutes really affects the way I do school work.

  • SusannahB

    I agree with what this is saying for texting and facebook, but I don’t think listening to music goes in the same category because it doesn’t require a lot of concentration and it’s not inherently digital. I frequently listen to records while doing homework. People seem fine with that, so I don’t understand why they have a problem with ipods.

  • Abegail Salvador

    I was horrified to realized that I was among the people to fall into this category. I realize that the nights I end up staying up late are the nights I had my cell phone near me. I know that the most productive I am is when a phone, laptop, or tablet is not near while I work. Unfortunately, the longest I’ve truthfully had all my technological devices put away during work was an hour at most – usually, when my phone was completely dead in battery – until I finally caved into my desire to check all my social media pages/text messages.

    Response #1:

    I remember trying to do something similar when I was set on finishing loads of work in one sitting without any long breaks in between each lengthy assignment. I gave my phone to my brother and I told him to keep it away from me. Within 20 minutes, thoughts of my twitter timeline and instagram feed began to taunt me to the point that I demanded he return my phone. At the time, I didn’t see it as a big deal; but, now I can’t help but feel extreme disgust at the power technology has over me.

    Response #2

    I agree with this readers comment. Award worthy work is often when all focus was given to it. It’s impossible to produce amazing work if one’s brain is split into handling several different tasks. I know that the best work I accomplish is when I concentrate completely on that particular job/assignment. I admit that I’m not the best at multi tasking, but apparently no one else really is either. .

  • Nicole

    I think us teenagers have to much distractions. We are to distracted it is effecting our education will affect our future.Our brain can only do so much. The use of our electronics is taking away their attention lowering their grade in the class. I believe teenagers should have more discipline on the use of their electronics devices. We should know the appropriate time when to use and not use them.

  • Ajhane’ H

    I do agree that cell phones are very addicting. I feel as though cell phones do distract teens from doing serious work at times. It takes major skills to do two things at once. Even though people complain about technology changing kids, we continue to make new gadgets. So can we really blame kids for their behavior?

    • Searr

      I disagree with you because They don’t create these new gadgets for kid and teens only. They are also made for those responsible adults that know multitasking is not good. Companies also need to make there money somehow right? And those parents don’t need to buy it for their children if they know they will get distracted. By the way did you know there is no such thing as “multitasking”? Well it’s true.

  • Christopher Rodas

    I agree with this article, i do get distracted from my phone or other media during in class, as teenager we just have the habit to take out are phone and text. we like to get in touch with people, like to get in social media, and we just sometimes get on are phone just because we are bored.

  • hana

    My reaction to this article is very stunned because i wouldn’t think multitasking can cause a huge distraction. I honestly multitask a lot because it helps me get things done faster.
    I agree with her giving her phone to her brother , she clearly is a very smart girl and obviously will do better without cellphone, it can a big distraction while doing homework

  • Rhonai

    My overall reaction to this article is that, I always multitask while doing school work. Its not that easy to just stop doing it if you think about it. When my friends and I get together to do our homework, if we get a buzz , or even if our phones light up we immediately look down and grab our phones why? I don’t know it the first thing to pop up in my mind.

  • Sofia

    This article i agree with because i as a teenager know that our cellphones are very distracting and that we cant go a while without having the need of checking it. I have noticed that if i try to text while one of my teachers is giving out a lecture i only pay attention to half of the things being said. But i know that if i really need to study and pay attention i leave my phone in my purse and put it on silent and that way i wont feel the need of having to check it.

    Respond to the two comments:

    The 17 year old teenager that gave her phone to her brother and told her not give it to her under any circumstances, I think that’s a very good idea and us teenagers need to do that.

  • Mako Williams

    To be honest, I’m not all that surprised of the results from all these studies that have taken place. Technology definitely can help with work in the classroom, but it can also distract us, and affect how well we do. Before reading this article, I didn’t think it was that hard to just put your phone away, well, its not that hard to put my phone away. At last I don’t think.

  • Dae’ Zaun Tucker

    i think its really bad a lot of peaple at my high school text while in class or in the
    car or while testing it not worth it the texting can wait peaple text while driving like yester day i say a woman texing while on her motorcycle and i was like is the text that important that u do while on a bike on the FREEWAY. my mother locks herself in her room texting talking on the phonE watching TV all at the same time doesnt even take the time to say hi to her son “me”. I know everyone has there demons but technology is the worst of them all 0_0

  • Brazjea Johnson

    i completely agree with this article . i believe that in this generation we depend on our technology too much and it has impacted our lives and it get harder and harder for us to focus on the Daley. this article has made me look at my use of technology in a whole different way.

  • gabriel altamirano

    I Agree that people who dont text,get on their fones get better GPA’S .

  • Princess W

    I believe that multitasking ask for a lot of mind thinking and, if you are doing something such as writing an essay and you on Facebook, you will loose you focus on writing your essay. multitasking will bring a lot of confusion also.
    PrincessW

  • Carvie Zhen

    I have already noticed that I multitask a lot while doing homework, especially homework I’m not looking forward to doing. What the article said about doing work slower when being distracted by technology and having to re-familiarize with the work is completely true for me. However, I have had times where I worked uninterrupted and without distractions, and I definitely get things done quicker and even with better quality. It’s scary to think that technology has such a big impact on the quality of my studies.

    Response 1: When I have no distractions while doing my homework, I also notice that I become way more productive. It’s because my mind is just focusing on that one thing I’m doing and that actually helps a lot. No matter how well of a multitasker you may think you are, nothing really compares to what you can do when your mind is only focused on one thing.

    Response 2: I don’t necessarily agree that doing things while distracted doesn’t produce any good results. Maybe it could be done better, but I’ve had instances where when I was doing a project or something, I was listening to music and that didn’t affect the quality of my project. It might be better to be completely undistracted but being distracted doesn’t necessarily mean that the work is produced is low quality.

  • Gabrielle M

    Reaction: I think this is all very true and very accurate. I, myself, am guilty of multitasking while studying. It’s true that sometimes, I find myself unable to remember what I learned or what I was reading. I try to keep my electronics away while I study, but sometimes, I just get the urge to check new messages and things. I think this study is very useful and interesting. Hopefully if I am able to do psychology in college, I will get to do something like this.

    Response 1: I think that girl is very responsible, and knows what she needs to do to get things done. I think I should start doing that.

    Response 2: That study seems to be confirmed by this article. “Although we often assume that our memories fail at the moment we can’t
    recall a fact or concept, the failure may actually have occurred
    earlier, at the time we originally saved, or encoded, the memory.” That’s basically the same thing. I think it’s true. Sometimes when I’m not focused on what I’m reading, I have to go back and re-read it to understand.

  • elviz h

    I already knew about Multitasking making learning more difficult. Some people can do it others cant. Phones are a good tool to use in school though, you can search topics on whatever you want like history facts. Our society needs to learn to limit the use of technology.

    In response to the mother with a 17 yr old girl, Its good that your daughter knows to do what she has to do in order to keep her grades up, it isn’t bad for her to use it when she needs it but im impressed on how she told her brother to hide it for her because it shows she’s is really responsible and knows how to limit her use on her cell phone when she needs too.

    Response # 3
    i do agree that multi tasking results in getting almost nothing done, i have experienced this myself. When i do an assignment and im on my phone or computer i dont do A quality work as if i would do with out these distractions.

  • galtamirano

    I think that was smart to give her brother her fone cause brother are very good at hiding thing…

    Well sometime fone may help you get fact that could help you win an award or trophies

  • Alex Sifuentes

    My first reaction to this article was that it is true. I know when I was grounded for a couple of months and didn’t have my phone i got done extra early with homework and everything I did not knowing what to do next because i did not have my phone. I use my phone while doing homework but not to an extent. I should less though. I also agree with the lady that had the 17 year old child, it was smart of her to have her brother take her phone especially for exams. I know when i read i have a hard time following along when texting and it takes forever!! I am still a good student with good grades. I don’t text all the time but when i know i have time i do while doing hw. Like someone else said you may get the job done but it will not be rewarding because you did not give it a 100% since you were multitasking

  • Tamar Jackson

    This article actually doesn’t surprise me because, I’ve heard it all before. A lot of adults think that we don’t know what we’re doing is wrong, but we do. When I multitask my logic it “at least I’m getting it done”. If a teenager really wants to get some work done we’ll get it done while resisting distractions. And yes we text in class, but if my grade in that class is and A or a B I don’t see why it’s a problem. A perfect example of this is the comment where the mother says he daughter gave her brother her phone so that she can get her work done. When teenagers really care about getting an assignment done we’ll get it done even if we have to relinquish our phone to someone else. I think adults need to stop doubting teenagers so much. I feel like most adults think that all teenagers can’t control themselves when it come to texting and social media when it’s obviously not true. in the article it said “I read a study recently that came to the conclusion that multitasking results in almost nothing being done with excellent results and any solid learning that is often superficial and lacks depth and retention. The job may get done, but it is not going to win any awards or trophies.” I only think that parts of that is true. I do believe that if I’m trying to study and stay connected at the same time I’m not going retain all of the information I studied. When it comes to an actual assignment though I don’t think that’s true. I know from experience. I’ve turn in multiple essays that received the grade of an A or B, and I did them while I was still connected to social media. In conclusion I just think the adults should stop doubting us so much.

  • Princess W

    I think your daughter is smart for giving up her cell phone to study
    for her exams however, stand up tell her if her grades drop of any sort
    because she is distracted by her cell, then it is gone because she
    cannot lose focus on school because she is not focus.

    If you
    do things that are really hard to focus on at the same time then yes,
    you will not get nothing done but if you do simple things then it would
    be easier to get it done.

  • Keith G

    It was pretty obvious to me that multitasking while studying results in lower test scores. Luckily I don’t have a smart phone yet so multimedia multitasking has never really affected my academics. I find it discouraging that so many young people in my generation are so hooked to electronics. We’ve come to a point where we persistently check our devices throughout the day which is a huge distraction during learning. I can say that I agree that studying for quizzes and tests while listening to music can be a pretty big distraction even if it doesn’t seem so.
    This is a very typical problem in modern day America. With all the features that phones have nowadays, it’s hard to stay away. I’m glad she had enough control to give her phone to her brother.

  • B-zual

    I would like to agree and disagree to this article respond because everyone is different. I believe the fact that multitasking will slower down our ability of learning but for some people cell phone and technology is a big benefit. While studying, some people use their cell phone for dictionary or for other info that they need to know. They can still be an excellent student can get my work done on time. I think it really depend on the person.

  • Eric Wheat

    There is “TOO” many distractions in this generation especially the cell phone, some kids believe that their media or social life is more important then their school work. But its true it comes to the point where your like a phone addict you just cant put it down you cant give it up you cant do both its the sad truth.

    • Shaniqua

      i DisaGRe3

      • Dae’Zaun Tucker

        Eric is right there are too many distractions

      • Dae’Zaun Tucker

        i disagree with your disagreement there ARE to many distractions in life look at all the peaple who die because they text and drive open your eyes man you know me and eric are right we’r only tying to help you out

        • bill gates

          o tru

      • Dae’ Zaun Tucker

        look up every 15 seconds watch a couple of those videos of what can happen to while texing and driving and then come back and tell me you disagree

  • John Escobar

    I very intrigued. But I don’t think it’s a serious matter.

    We lived in a generation where technology is progressing rapidly. Whether you liked it or not IT’S GOING TO BE A HUGE ASSET for our lives. In terms of social media it’s our choice to be ether multitask or get distracted. It’s a form of disciplined to be acting upon. We need to realize weather you’re children failed the marsh mellow test or not doesn’t make them any less successful in the future. It’s base on what they could approve in their lives. So it’s shouldn’t be a bad thing to take a break as well form texting or emailing or instagram or facebook. But note it wont make any changes through out you’r life. It’s not a drug.

    • Dae’ Zaun Tucker

      thats a poor exuse

  • Fahim

    People tend to use their electronic devices while studying and while in class. They are unaware that this action can potentially hurt them in the future. These modern devices are like a double-edged sword. They can help you but they can also hurt you. The generations need to be further educated on the toll that it can have on them.

  • Ibrahim B

    I definitely agree with this article. I am a student and sometimes I do fall under this category of texting or listening to music while doing work. Sometimes it throws me off, for example. When i’m texting and I text a word like “wat” in the text message. When I go back to do my homework I would automatically write “wat” instead of “what”, Id do this because my mind isn’t used to switching the way I talk or write when i’m just texting to the way I write when I need to be formal.

  • Selena Jackson-Torrez

    I agree and disagree with the article. I agree that teenagers are really in touch with the mobile world, or the web. We don’t want to miss out on anything. But I don’t think that that’s all we care about. This article is saying that teenagers are so obsessed with their computer or phone that we can never put it down. If some people got their phone taken away for a hour, I’m pretty sure that we could handle it. We are not only in touch with the mobile world, but we are also in touch with the real world.

    I think that the junior in high school was very smart about giving her phone to her brother while she did her school work. It shows that she really cares about how she does in school.
    I really disagree with that comment. It all depends on how your mind works. If you take a 15-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man and have them write an essay while they are listening to music, the 23-year-old man will probably have a better essay than the 15-year-old boy. And that’s only because their mind works differently. They are different ages so one of their minds wil be more developed. I multitask a lot and I get the job donw quickly and efficiently.

  • Skander Nouri

    My overall reaction to the article is that this really does make a lot of sense because since 6th grade I haven’t done my homework without music playing in the background. I didn’t get a phone until 8th grade so I didn’t have the privilege of being able to use my phone just whenever. But I will admit that there are some times in class that I am just so bored that I will pull out my phone and I will stay on it until someone catches me doing it and makes me put it away. But I do agree that this is an impending problem with society.

  • Taylor Williams

    I think this article is somewhat right because listening to music can be a distraction but it could be a way to make you more focused. Plus in my experience my teachers have gotten distracted from some weird stuff like a pen on the ground across the room. Kids don’t get distracted easier than adults they sometimes get distracted more often.

  • yesenia

    My first reaction to this was that I agree with this article we live in a generation were all people do is stay on their phones. Multitasking is very difficult but yet a lot of people still do it. Your self phone could be a good use when your searching something you need. but people need to know their limits. when every the teacher is lecturing and I go on my phone it looks disrespectful and my attention is not on the teacher.
    response #1
    The17 year old girl shows that she knows her limits and she knows that if she puts her phone away she will do better in her work. and also it shows that shes very responsible for giving her phone to her brother.
    response #2
    I agree multitasking doesn’t get much done I have that problem when I here my phone I check it and wont do the assignment that well but when I am not on my phone I do it way better.

  • Fahim

    She was aware that using these devices will hurt her future because she wouldn’t be able to focus in class and get a good grade on those exams. If you try to do two hard tasks you wouldn’t be able to complete them with the same quality than if you focused on one.

  • John C.

    Overall this is a very interesting article. The problem is that teenagers don’t want to miss out on everything that is going on, so they keep their device by them at all times. The most interesting piece of this article is the part that talks about how much you remember when you multitask. Although this article is based on research, it’s not completely true. Doing homework and listening to music is not as much of a problem for me as the article says it is. Social networking is different though. You can’t do homework and go on facebook at the same time without losing quality in your work.

    I find it very interesting how much you can get done without the distraction of a cell phone. You can get loads more done when you’re not talking to your friends online. It is quite amazing.

    I also agree that multitasking while doing work results in no good work getting done. Although I still think that a little quiet music in the background never hurt anyone. If you can keep from singing along or dancing to your music, there’s nothing wrong with listening to it. Sometimes, music can even make you concentrate better.

  • Skander Nouri

    I think that this girl was very responsible in the way she handled her big exam week. She gave her phone to her brother and told him not to give it to her under any circumstances. That is a very smart way of keeping herself in check.

    I also think that this comment makes a lot of sense because if you multitask and get the job done, it won’t look very good because it would be done without a lot of effort being put into it.

  • Danny

    I am shocked at how many people are multitasking and doing their homework because multitasking while doing homework takes your focus away from doing homework and you’re just focus on the web. I think the parents should take away their devices when an exam or something big that is happening in school because without their devices for a while they can focus on studying and doing their homework which makes them more productive. I think it is true that when you are multitasking you won’t get anything done and you would hardly learn,so you wouldn’t learn anything in depth which means anything that you finished when you are multitasking isn’t worth anything big which means it wouldn’t contribute to your learning in the future.

  • Shaira

    It is true that if we do a lot of things at once, it will result poorly. I have tried doing my homework while checking out on Facebook and after an hour, I have not finished it still. I thinks its because the addiction of people, teens to be specific, on phones and other social media sites that made it hard for them to give up one. But instead they will do it all at once. This article didn’t surprise me that much because I knew all the consequences of multitasking because I’ve done it and still doing it until now.

  • Sabrina

    That idea that the 17-year old thought of was great. My phone is a total distraction when I do school work. Even something as little as listening to Pandora. I get distracted by singing along.

  • angelica p

    Honestly, I’m surprised with this article because multitasking never seemed like a very big deal to me. I’m never on my phone while doing schoolwork, I’d be listening to music but I can resist checking my Twitter timeline, Instagram feed, etc. I always get distracted while doing homework, no lie. I check one thing for a minute end up being on my phone for thirty minutes or more without even realizing it.

    Response #1: I could relate to this because I had to study for an important test and a few difficult worksheets and I realized how much of a distraction my phone was, so I let my mom keep it for me and I ended up everything done in a good amount of time with no problem.

    Response #2: I agree with this as well. I could relate to this as well since I have a better understanding of my home/school work without my phone by my side.

  • caprice

    I was not really surprised about anything in the article because I know how teens today cannot resist socializing every second of the day. For me this is not an issue at all because I do not have any social networking sites and I do not even have a cellphone. It is true that I do get good grades probably because I do not get distracted as much.

  • Sabrina F

    This article is somewhat true and makes sense. Using a cellphone will always be a bad habit for teens. I always do my homework while listening to music because I always thought it will help me concentrate. 8th grade was when I got a cellphone so I haven’t really been able to use my cellphone in class. As a student I always feel the need to pull out my phone whenever I get bored in class. Using your cellphone is a problem with this new generation of kids.

  • Naseem

    My reaction to this article is huge because I completely agree with it. Throughout my school day I see this mostly every class that I enter. Also, to be honest I multitask and spend at least 1/3 of my class on my device.

  • Rheymart Balance

    I am shocked to hear that people are getting distracted from learning
    because of modern world technologies. I am sad to read that some people
    don’t care about their education and abuse technology, but I somewhat
    disagree that technology distracts them a lot. I think it just how the
    person can handle electronics since some are quite helpful for
    education.
    I understand that her productivity increased when she put her cellphone
    away. It is really clear that for some people technologies affects them
    big time. From what I see it’s not only the people using technology it’s
    also how they control it.
    Multitasking does affect the quality of someone’s work. I agree to this one because
    there were times I rushed things trying to finish all things at once,
    but the next day I can say that it wasn’t my best work and I forgot some
    of them. Multi-tasking does affect the productivity and the brain.

  • Steve

    This article distracted me from my homework…

    • Frank

      LOL

  • Guest

    I am shocked to hear that people are getting distracted from learning
    because of modern world technologies. I am sad to read that some people
    don’t care about their education and abuse technology, but I somewhat
    disagree that technology distracts them a lot. I think it just how the
    person can handle electronics since some are quite helpful for
    education.
    I understand that her productivity increased when she put her cellphone
    away. It is really clear that for some people technologies affects them
    big time. From what I see it’s not only the people using technology it’s
    also how they control it.
    Multitasking does affect the quality of someone’s work. I agree to this one because
    there were times I rushed things trying to finish all things at once,
    but the next day I can say that it wasn’t my best work and I forgot some
    of them. Multi-tasking does affect the productivity and the brain.

  • Alan Freeman

    I agree with just about everything in this article. Cell phones seem addictive as drugs now. Not just teenagers, but everyone, needs to understand when and when not to use a cell phone. What is there to gain from constantly posting things on Facebook or Twitter anyway? If people got paid to use Facebook, almost everyone would be millionaires. I’ve never seen the point of social networking sites. Using a cell phone is only appropriate when not doing something serious or where cell phones are allowed to be used.

  • Jessica X

    I wasn’t really surprised when I read this article because I know how phone and internet can be a big distraction sometimes. Music is one distraction too when some people think having their music on can make them concentrate more which is not true. Having them put away can make your work finish properly.

  • Des

    While this article is mostly accurate and being able to focus on one thing for a long time helps learning (or at least being able to quietly reflect on the learning) I think everyone (in the comments and article both) are missing the big picture. People are saying “take away their devices” “put their devices away to study” well for many kids these days in many classrooms and particularly in University classrooms, our devices ARE our study tools, our laptops have our e-textbooks, our class notes are online and our homework that we can review is saved on our computer. So how do you propose we put away our devices when our devices are what we are using to study and do homework with? We have a new problem forthcoming and that is that our devices that once were just an entertainment tool, are also becoming our educational and work tools and with this all combined into one, it’s hard to put one away without the other being easy to access. With these things being integrated, we also start to lose sight of what is actually work and what is entertainment. I might post something school-related looking for feedback on Facebook, or call up a friend on Skype with a question and to me, this would feel like part of my work, but it’s really more about giving in to my distractions and urges to check these things. So it becomes harder to draw that line because the lines are blurring. We need to figure out how we can regulate and control the fact that our devices for entertainment, are now also what we use to do work and how to keep those separate, without getting distracted. I find this impossible personally.

    The GPA thing correlated with FB use… well, I currently have over a 4.0 in pre-med studies at my University, but I’m also probably one of those rare “more efficient” task-switchers (and also just happen to be a good test-taker, which matters a lot and really shouldn’t). However, I can see how those of us who are aware of our capabilities, log in to Facebook without too much issue, and others who might be less aware see this and follow suit not realizing that they might not be able to task-switch as effectively. That whole “Well, she’s doing it so I can too” mentality. It’s a distraction and also sets a bad example. I’m trying to do less distracting media task-switching lately because I’ve been wildly unproductive lately. I still get things done, but I feel more rushed and spend less time on it and that’s problematic. We need to find a way to teach kids from a really young age how to manage these distractions, before it’s too late. It may be too late already for the M^2 generation. :(

  • Anmei

    I don’t want to put my phone away as a teen, and most people get addicted to it. And I think the marshmallow’s temptation to a 3 years old child is the same as the cell phone to a teen or adult.

  • Justin Padriquilla

    I personally think the advice given to us about the 20 minutes of straight work with electronics turned off and then 5 minutes of social media is a good way to keep our mind focused in one particular tasks! If we were to multitask, we won’t be able to get the job done more efficiently than if we were to do it individually. The example they give about texting and writing an essay is an exemplar because the mind has to adjust to formal and informal language. I feel as if this article is an eye opener because kids and teens aren’t thinking about how multitasking really does affect their lives!

  • Isabella Deatherage

    I am not very surprised by the information included in this article. I am very aware of this problem because I have seen it happen to others, and myself. I know from personal experience the effects of using your phone while doing homework. I am very aware that I need to be more disciplined with my phone, but it is very difficult.

  • David Linzie

    I agree that listening to music while doing work is a little distracting, but as long as they get the work done, and its not keeping them from slacking off then its cool

  • AK

    I agree with the article, technology is a big distraction, I fall victim to it all the time. When I’m doing my homework and I know that I could be on YouTube if I let myself it is very hard to concentrate on the matter at hand. I know I’m not the only one, tons of teenagers have this problem. I also know that if i didn’t have the distraction of the internet i would probably have slightly better grades which are all A’s and B’s.

  • Madison-Lane

    I agree and disagree with this topic, I believe that it can be hard at times to multitask with different topics. I know for me I can listen to music but it depends what the topic is and most of the time even though I’m listening to music and doing work i can drown out the music and I get better grades on my work.

  • SalehS

    I feel that multitasking on work that require using your brain is not okay. But multitasking while doing laundry, watching tv, and etc.

  • YumengSun

    We may have different thought, but we have same brain structure. It means multitasking is too difficult for us . My suggestion is people need to plan their time on their phones such as play your phone after you finish your homework.

    • c souza

      I agree with this comment because we do all have different thoughts but at the same time we have the same mind structure

    • Maria F.

      The nice thing about technology is that everything is accessible later. After working on homework I can give myself an hour to scroll through my news feed and I can still find out about things before they happen the next day.

      But I also know many people who toggle through multiple things so that they don’t lose interest in the assignment. My sister does some math problems get bored of that and so she reads through a section of her biology book. When she gets bored of that she goes back to the math problems until she finishes both assignments. This helps her focus by making the assignment fresh each time. So it really depends on how individuals manage distractions.

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  • Reejan Khadka

    I am a teenager in high school and I believe the facts in this article is pretty true because I have seen others with this problem and have experienced it. Putting my phone away is hard and I know I should pay more attention but when the time comes to put it away its really hard.

  • Darlene

    @twitter-88552210:disqus
    I completely agree that kids of these ages have too many “tech toys”. I think after school kids should have time to play on these devices, and time for homework, but mixing them is too hard for some kids

  • Nerm

    It is very interesting how technology positively and negatively effects how we learn, I myself multitask while doing homework, or even folding laundry, its a bit scary to see how addicted teens are to technology, and how it effects their work ethic.

  • RACHE

    I can relate to this article a lot. I get really distracted by social media when i do my homework. Sometimes it’s all I can think about if what i’m doing is really boring, like reading a book.

    • Old Person

      Rache,

      Life tosses you boring things from time to time: books, homework, jobs, even boyfriends. People who never gain the patience to cope with the occasional dull moment, jumping from one excitement to the next, risk never getting the really big rewards (look up the Marshmallow Test). Imagine how boring life for them is.

  • Lizzie

    I believe that technology has a huge role in the daily tasks people try to accomplish. In this generation, you have to look very hard to not find a young person of some type of phone, ipod, or computer. Even I get distracted by technology and it takes me twice as long to do simple tasks.

  • FluteGirl

    @4191bb0cbde62f757647ace7e9c6dd23:disqus I agree with you. Sometimes it’s very hard to resist the urge to go on Facebook or respond to a text, especially if I know I have a text message waiting for me. I always wait to go on Facebook until I’m done with at least 2 different homework assignments, but I have to respond to my text message as soon as possible. This generation is lucky that we have so many technological opportunities but if you don’t know how to handle it, it could get a little out of control.

  • Athena B

    None of the information in this article particularly surprised me. I am already well aware of the consequences in multitasking. I agree that we should primarily focus on the schoolwork and i also agree that we should know when the right time to use our gadgets is but i feel that not all but some adults overreact just a tiny bit about our generation. I feel that as long as we’re getting our work done and getting good grades it’s really up to us how we divide our time. Our generation has more technology available than when our parents were our age and most of us know how to control it.

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  • Scott ValleyAcademy

    I believe that it all relies on the balance of distractions to work. It should not matter about how many distractions there are or if they are working without the distractions. If the work gets done, it gets done.

  • Georgia

    As a high school student, taking an AP class that
    requires a lot of time and attention, I think that it is important to keep away
    from any types of distractions when doing school work. I often find it
    difficult to focus on my work when I have my cell phone next to me, or have my
    computer on. I do not have a Facebook or a Twitter so I am not that easily
    distracted, but I see that many of my friends cannot pay attention to their
    work. I would say it takes me five hours
    to do homework every night, when I have distractions, whether it’s my family
    members or my cell phone. I also find it hard to get back on track once I have
    stopped my work, because my brain does not function as well as it should. I agree
    with most of these comments because I believe that our world is too
    technologically based, not only does it affect our working skills but also our
    communication skills. People tend to e-mail or text others, but do not talk
    face to face; this has become a large issue with the youth. Overall networking
    sites, cell phones, and technology in general have become too much of a
    distraction for the youth, as well as those that work. Your skills and
    performance are the best when you have a clear mind and you are able to think.

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  • inziona watkins

    Technology can sometimes over take us by ads popular up which leave us off task in onto something new …….We should be able to multitasking & Learn

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    Great article …Thanks for your lovely post, the contents are quiet
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  • L C

    I am a first year university student, studying education. I completely agree with this article and the saddest part is I didn’t even make it to the end of the article before flicking tabs to share it on facebook…

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  • J

    The dumbing down of America began with the invention of the T.V. Remote.

  • Leigh

    I find a lot of this bullshit. And only for one reason: because they chose to use the word “multitasking”. Being a high school student, I’ll admit the computer has called to me and rarely have I never obeyed. I’m behind on my homework. But to use the word “multitasking” is incorrect. Studies have shown that mindless multitasking, such as doodling on margins or humming, actually help with grasping information and locking it into the memory. But once this mindless multitasking requires our full attention, such as going onto the computer, it’s not considered multitasking anymore. We’re completely involved with the computer now.
    Word choice is key. Especially when you’re trying to persuade someone how horrible technology has become, considering not a lot of people want to accept it.

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  • Karina

    I fight this in class every day. I try to teach them to focus now so that they can remember the content better later. But it’s exhausting at times because not every teacher here enforces no cell phones during lectures.

  • terra williamson

    if adults can multitask than so can children

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  • Waldo

    LOL
    Reply to this if you multi-tasked while reading about why multi-tasking is bad!

  • Joshua

    In these articles that I have read, I obtained much more information on the subject at hand. I used to do a lot of this stuff. I never have used my phone or any other devices during classes but at home I really used to get distracted by electronics while doing homework. I think that really affected my schedule and my planning. It also affected my ability to had assignments in on time. It was really hard to ignore these things as well. Being teenagers and children have short attention spans it was hard to focus on one certain thing for awhile but I improved on my ability to do that and now I focus in classes and I am able to do my homework instantly.

    These distractions are really affecting work as well. When teens use their electronics in class, they don’t focus on the work and the homework becomes significantly hard and long. But, focusing on the work gives you the power to do things quicker and easier with the work, thus having more time to play on electronics. Plus, no one has ever really set limits for me. I realized they were trusting me to do my work and they had faith that I could complete it without distractions. So it’s more that having no limits pushed me to do the right thing. And probably one of the most interesting things was probably when in “How Does Multitasking Change the Way Kids Learn?” when they gave them 15 minute electronic breaks. Students really should learn that they need to focus and see how their work is being affected. Also their lives and careers.

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  • jdog

    just don’t let them have cell phones

  • jdog

    bs

  • Jeremy Scholz

    At Promotesigns.com we’ve seen the importance of a clear and simple message. Kids really are bombarded with a million different messages every day!

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