Is technology producing a decline in critical thinking and analysis?

This report summarises research undertaken by Patricia M Greenfield, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Children’s Digital Media Center, Los Angeles.
A more extended article on this topic, written by Professor Greenfield, appears in the 2 January 2009 edition of Science.

She writes: Technology has changed familiar patterns of learning. As technology has played a bigger role in our lives, our visual skills have improved while our skills in critical thinking and analysis have declined.
This article reports on these and other findings of Professor Patricia M Greenfield, a psychologist who has analysed more than 50 studies on learning and technology, including multitasking and the use of computers, the internet and video games.

The article concludes:
Schools should ensure that students have the opportunity to access and work with a broad range of media, balancing new media with traditional forms of reading. Parents should encourage their children to read and should read to
their young children. No single medium can develop the variety of skills needed by today’s learners. A balanced media diet will facilitate both the visual intelligence skills obtained through new media, and the deep processing skills best learnt through traditional media.

Read it here

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