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The Internet Is Making Us Crazy – Like A Fox

1254880_shiny_brain_Is the Internet making us dumber or are we just using our brains in new ways? The BBC posted a great overview of a new study which makes the case for a neat trick the brain is pulling now that we have 24/7 access to the web.

The article notes:

“When participants knew that facts would be available on a computer later, they had poor recall of answers but enhanced recall of where they were stored.

The researchers say the internet acts as a “transactive memory” that we depend upon to remember for us”

This jibes with my own experience over the last decade. Memorizing facts and dates is so 20th Century. Bottom line – this mental strategy frees our brains up for other work.

When it comes to designing education media this has huge implications for every aspect of the products that come out of our industry. Design, marketing, implementation – all need an overhaul in light of this one simple concept.

This is part of why I’m so excited to be participating in the Learning Resources Metadata Initiative (LRMI) as a delegate from the publishing industry. I’ll be writing more on that in the coming months as the project gets off the ground.

Start your week on a positive note and go read the BBC’s article.

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One Response to “The Internet Is Making Us Crazy – Like A Fox”

  1. sabino iovino says:

    AS an educator of 40 years I HAVE SEEN THE TRANSITION OF PRE- digital to the “communications revolution” which these articles have discussed and amplified. As I see it, all technological break-throughs present a mixed picture. There is always a “trade-off” as Clarence Darrow stated in the play “Inherit the Wind.” The bottom line as I see it, is to make students better critical thinkers. This was always important, but even moreso today with the proliferation of data and information. Teachers,students parents, leaders, etc, should better utilize this data. Utilization includes among other skills, the ability to analyze and evaluate. Without these and similar skills, most students will be inundated and overwhelmed. Consequently, they may take the easy way out- plagiarism, cut and past, copy or paraphrase an article, sound bite, or data which supports their position or inclination. Students should be constantly challenged in otder to become better problem solvers and critical thinkers no matter where digital technology takes us.

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