Important research compiled on the effects of students multitasking while learning shows that they are losing depth of learning, getting mentally fatigued, and are weakening their ability to transfer what they have learned to other subjects and situations.
Educators as well as students have noticed how schoolwork suffers when attention is split between homework and a buzzing smartphone. Many students, like Alex Sifuentes, who admit to multitasking while studying, know the consequences well. “When I was grounded for a couple of months and didn’t have my phone, I got done extra early with homework,” Sifuentes wrote in response to Annie Murphy Paul’s article, “How Does Multitasking Change the Way Kids Learn?”
Parents also see a big difference in their kids’ studying habits. Jenifer Gossman reported that her 17-year-old daughter asked her brother to hide her phone so she could study for several important exams. After hours of studying, Gossman’s daughter reappeared, amazed at how productive she’d been without her phone by her side.
“Devices that once were just an entertainment tool are also becoming our educational and work tools.”
But for many, the solution isn’t simply to do away with the gadgets — mostly because they’re the same tools that actually help do the work, and it can be confusing for young adults to distinguish the difference between work and everything else.
“We have a new problem forthcoming and that is our devices that once were just an entertainment tool are also becoming our educational and work tools,” wrote commenter Des. “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.”
While some teachers want to remove all digital distractions from the classroom, others say Generation M’s biggest challenges — like giving schoolwork undivided attention — require learning Continue reading