Tech breaks, or reason 10,014 to homeschool

According to Time Magazine, Kids Who Use Facebook Do Worse In School. The problem: 

  • The more time elapsed, the more windows opened on the student’s computer. The amount of windows peaked at 8-10 minutes, and on-task behavior declined at the same point
  • When students stayed on task, they performed better
  • When they toggled between windows and other tasks, they performed worse

“The more media they consumed per day, the worse students they were,” says Rosen. “If they checked Facebook just once during 15 minutes, they were worse students.”

The solution? Help the addicts get their fix:

Psychologists and teachers can combat the decline in productivity by teaching students about the concept of metacognition — knowing how your brain works and how to study. For studying, that means turning off Facebook and not task-switching.

One strategy that Rosen recommends to schools is “tech breaks,” in which teachers help students increase their attention span. Teachers start by picking a 15-minute block of time in which students must put away their phones and focus. When the time expires, students are allowed a one-minute tech break to use apps, sends texts or check Facebook.

“One minute turns out to be a pretty darn long time,” says Rosen. “We now know neurologically that if we don’t have a tech break, kids are already starting to think about anything other than what the teacher talking about. If they know they get a tech break, they’re able to stop those thoughts. It works amazingly.”

Why do the kids have phones in the classroom in the first place? A few years ago, we would confiscate said electronics. Do schools now face lawsuits for enforcement of basic etiquette? A violation of … media rights? Is Facebook such a problem that kids can only be asked to do 15 minutes worth of work in a state-run classroom in order to get the one-minute fix as a reward? “It works amazingly.” Yes, I’m sure it does, as a reinforcement of bad behavior. Unreal.


One Response

  1. Really, why do they have phones in classroom? If it were up to me, I’d ban computers in schools too, and have them hand write all of their take home essays.
    I believe facebook lowers adult IQs by 10 points.

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