This post is an exploration and critique of a May, 2008 article entitled “Closing the Digital Divide:7 Things Educators Need to Do” [pdf] by Ian Jukes, The InfoSavvy Group and Tim McCain, Cystar.
From the BBC on August 15, 2008:
Professor Greenfield has spent a lifetime researching the physiology of the brain, and now thinks that there could be a link between the attention span of children and the growing use of computers.
In an interview for Radio 4’s iPM she said: “The last 10 years have seen a three-fold increase in the prescription of the drug Ritalin, a drug used for Attention Deficit Disorder. One asks why?
“Why suddenly is there greater demand for a drug for attentional problems?” she asked. “This might, and I stress might, be something to do with the increased exposure of young children to unsupervised and lengthy hours in front of a screen.”
Baroness Greenfield wondered if the cause was growing computer use.
“Could it be, and this is just a suggestion which I think we should look into, could it be if a small child is sitting in front of a screen pressing buttons and getting reactions quickly for many hours, they get used to and their brains get used to rapid responses?” she said.
If children do not have stories read to them and have little practice of concentrating for long periods this could effect how they handle the sedate pace of school life, said Baroness Greenfield.
Or maybe they are the solution…