Attention Spans And Multi-Tasking Use of Technology
Susan D'Agostino, mathematics professor at Souther New Hampshire University, implemented a rigid rule: No electronic devices allowed during her class except calculators. Later, she did an informal survey on her student's use of electronic devices in their other college classes.
The results are interesting:
Yet, D'Agostino discovered that 94% of her students stated they either favored or were neutral regarding her ban of electronic devices in her own math classroom (statistics).
- 100% of the students had used a laptop, phone, or digital music device during a class
- Students with an open laptop in a 75-minute class spent equal time taking electronic notes and social networking (35 minutes +- 5 minutes)
- In a 75-minute class, students spent
36 minutes looking at websites relevant to the class and 68 minutes looking at irrelevant websites
- In a 75 minute class, students with open laptops spent 27 minutes on their e-mail/facebook and 11 minutes reading an electronic newspaper
- 58% of the students did at least one of these online tasks, while listening to the lecture or participating in a discussion
- 46% of the students multi-tasked by engaging in two-four online tasks, while listening to the lecture or participating in a discussion
- 2 % of the students claimed they engaged in five activities in addition to the lesson--social networking, instant messaging, searching on-line, playing games, and texting
Finally, research sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation has shown that an average 18-year-old spends 7 hours daily using electronic devices for recreational purposes....and I am sure this number has increased over the past year.
Sorry, just sharing some statistics...no question to pose. I am too busy multi-tasking!
Source: S. D'Agostino, "Facebook and Texting vs. Textbooks and Faces," Math Horizons, Sep 2010