Computers inhibit learning.

Methods and means of supporting critical thinking in education
User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9888
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:03 am

Reference : New Scientist, 17 October 2015, page 28

It appears that the use of computers in the classrom and in the home actually reduce the amount of learning a student achieves.

One study showed with 250,000 students that having a computer in their bedroom resulted in poorer performance at school. In Israel, researchers found declining performance in classrooms with computers, and in Romania, where a program gave poorer families laptops in their homes, those who received the computers performed worse than those without computers.

Why is this? Several suggestions, which come from several research programs.
1. Using computers in studies results in shallower mental processing.
2. Getting information on-line results in that data being remembered less well than if it was gained from a book or journal.
3. Taking notes by hand results in data being remembered better than taking those notes on a laptop.
4. Computers permit various other activities that distract from learning.
5. Other computer activities take time resulting in sleep deprivation.

Should we even give students computers to use?

User avatar
Monster
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4972
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:57 pm
Location: Tarrytown, NY, USA
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Monster » Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:13 am

I have done zero research into this subject except for my own personal anecdotal experience. I concur with 4 and 5 strongly. It's seriously interfering with my work.
Listening twice as much as you speak is a sign of wisdom.

Matthew Ellard
Real Skeptic
Posts: 26382
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:31 am

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:30 am

Lance Kennedy wrote: Should we even give students computers to use?
I agree to many point that you have raised. I think student should be given computers. However they must perform the same tasks manually first, so they understand what they are asking the computer to do.

My pet gripe is "intuitive sentence completing" software. I really worry that our beautiful English language is not being practised by young individuals as a communications method with "artistic add ons" but rather whatever their computer tells them to say.

As an offshoot of UK culture, our Australian vocabulary is filled with weird historical expressions, that no computer would ever suggest introducing into common language.

"Let me show you the ropes" "Shake a leg" "I'm going to throw back a schooner" "Captain goes down with the company eh?" "I'm going to Wallop that bloke." "Jeeez, that took the wind from my sails"

User avatar
Poodle
Has More Than 8K Posts
Posts: 8122
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:12 pm
Custom Title: Regular sleeper
Location: NE corner of my living room

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Poodle » Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:55 am

I suspect it's a teaching problem. I know that the local school has no competent IT staff, and I know that pupils are shown how to access information on the net. What they're not told is how to use such information. They don't know why they should check other sources, and I've seen a lot of work which consists only of printouts, with no additional comment to show any understanding. It's the equivalent of finding a book, ripping out the relevant pages and handing that in as personal work.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist
True Skeptic
Posts: 10234
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:39 am

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:09 am

What is the use of knowledge? to know things for that purpose alone....or is there an end point?

I think the end point of knowledge is to better or even best fit or function within society.

I think this every time on tv I see a character lose his cell phone and he can't call who he needs to because he lacks the knowledge of the actual phone number. But its a given we can't know/remember all the details that would benefit us when the specific need arises (like guns actually, or any other insurance/self help activity) but how does one maximally function in society?

..........cell phones.

................or on topic: computers.

Its all made clear by pragmatism.
Real Name: bobbo the existential pragmatic evangelical anti-theist and Class Warrior.
Asking: What is the most good for the most people?
Sample Issue: Should the Feds provide all babies with free diapers?

User avatar
xouper
True Skeptic
Posts: 10277
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby xouper » Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:37 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Reference : New Scientist, 17 October 2015, page 28

It appears that the use of computers in the classrom and in the home actually reduce the amount of learning a student achieves.

One study showed with 250,000 students that having a computer in their bedroom resulted in poorer performance at school. In Israel, researchers found declining performance in classrooms with computers, and in Romania, where a program gave poorer families laptops in their homes, those who received the computers performed worse than those without computers.

Why is this? Several suggestions, which come from several research programs.
1. Using computers in studies results in shallower mental processing.
2. Getting information on-line results in that data being remembered less well than if it was gained from a book or journal.
3. Taking notes by hand results in data being remembered better than taking those notes on a laptop.
4. Computers permit various other activities that distract from learning.
5. Other computer activities take time resulting in sleep deprivation.

Should we even give students computers to use?

That's an excellent question. (I read that editorial).

As someone who makes a living developing software, my opinion is obviously biased. But I have one nonetheless, which I will share even though I suspect no one here really cares anyway, not even me.

I would propose an additional "why" (based on no published research at all) :

6. Computers are not being used effectively in those educational settings.

I could be wrong of course, but I suspect that those computers are not being used to their best advantage in aiding the learning process.

Secondly, in our increasingly automated society, it seems that having computer skills is more essential than ever, and one cannot get those skills without spending sufficient time using an actual computer. But perhaps that is a different issue than the general learning as discussed in that editorial.

For my own learning — which I am still doing — I find that computers enable me to do far more (and in less time) than I could without one, and for that reason alone, I wish I had had one when I was a teenager in school.

On the other hand, a computer also enables me to waste hours and hours doing crap that doesn't amount to much more than a waste of time — in other words a hobby. Like posting on an internet forum. :P

Oh, I almost forgot. My answer to your question is "yes". Especially if the problems mentioned can be overcome.

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29108
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Gord » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:12 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:4. Computers permit various other activities that distract from learning.

Ding ding ding ding ding!
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

User avatar
digress
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1692
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:11 am
Custom Title: doomer
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby digress » Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:58 pm

I fear that even if you were onto something Lance that nobody would be willing to attend to it because of a love and interest in computers.
  God is an idea.  

"For now, I am going to err on the side of freedom of speech..." -Pyrrho
"Every instance that has always existed is a piece of evidence that God is not needed." -yrreg
"I am not a concept..." -Confidencia

User avatar
Gawdzilla Sama
Has No Life
Posts: 19481
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:11 am
Custom Title: Deadly but evil.

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:16 pm

I don't suppose it's possible to put a timer on the computer so it doesn't work between, say, 10 pm and 7 am?

I also don't expect any actual parenting to be done. Dr. Spock has much to answer for.
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
The greatest place to work in the entire United States.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9888
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:50 pm

digress wrote:I fear that even if you were onto something Lance that nobody would be willing to attend to it because of a love and interest in computers.


Let me just point out that I am NOT 'onto something'. I quoted my reference, and the OP comes from the points made in that reference. I was hoping to stimulate discussion and learn some new ideas on the subject.

I often do this with new threads, starting something on the basis of a reference and seeing what enlightenment comes from other people's comments.

In this case, the reference and the studies it refers to, made good sense, and I wanted to see if other people had other ideas. So far, that seems to be working out.

Matthew Ellard
Real Skeptic
Posts: 26382
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:31 am

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:52 pm

Gord wrote: Ding ding ding ding ding!


If Amanda and I are driving anywhere, I'll drive and Amanda will sit in the passenger seat. The entire trip consists of various electronic alarms going off, on her mobile, followed by gymnastics, as she retrieves he phone hidden in three layers of handbags in the back seat. I then have to listen to half conversations as "a teaser", leading up to a post conversation, blow by blow account, of what was said in full. She then carefully hides her mobile phone under three handbags and waits for the process to repeat.

On the other hand, I am probably the last person on Earth who plans a route, on a printed road map, before even getting into the car. In that respect, I know I'm a dinosaur. ( But, I can at least read a map) :D

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9888
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:45 pm

Planning a trip.
I also plan it out on a map, unless (which is most of the time) I know the route well.

Recently, in Hawaii, I had the dubious privilege of renting a car and driving on the right for the first time in my life. Worse, my plane was late landing and I got the car after dark. Still worse, the destination was totally unknown to me. You can be sure that I studied the map well! I still got lost though. However, my wife and I survived the experience, and I did not make the fatal error of driving on the incorrect side of the road.

User avatar
digress
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1692
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:11 am
Custom Title: doomer
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby digress » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:52 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
digress wrote:I fear that even if you were onto something Lance that nobody would be willing to attend to it because of a love and interest in computers.


Let me just point out that I am NOT 'onto something'. I quoted my reference, and the OP comes from the points made in that reference. I was hoping to stimulate discussion and learn some new ideas on the subject.

I often do this with new threads, starting something on the basis of a reference and seeing what enlightenment comes from other people's comments.

In this case, the reference and the studies it refers to, made good sense, and I wanted to see if other people had other ideas. So far, that seems to be working out.


Sorry, I meant you were onto something with your reference. I would have stated more, but I didn't quite make the cut-line for using computers in the classroom. So I can't speak from personal experience. Although when I thought about if whether or not computers should be removed from school it dawned on me that it may not be possible due to their extreme popularity.
  God is an idea.  

"For now, I am going to err on the side of freedom of speech..." -Pyrrho
"Every instance that has always existed is a piece of evidence that God is not needed." -yrreg
"I am not a concept..." -Confidencia

Matthew Ellard
Real Skeptic
Posts: 26382
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:31 am

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:57 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:, I had the dubious privilege of renting a car and driving on the right for the first time in my life.
Of all the things that scare me, that is in the top ten.

I have spent almost 35 years training my body to instantaneously react in certain way, by driving on the left, in Australia and England. I can't see how I won't make one mistake, if I drive on the right hand side. Therefore when I have to do it, I become really nervous and irritable. I generally refuse to drive overseas.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9888
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:24 am

Matthew

I felt pretty much the same way. However, what I did was to use the several days before I got the rental car to 'program myself' for driving on the right. I did this by imagining myself driving on the right, and running mentally and repeatedly through every action I would have to take, like turning at crossroads, going round roundabouts, and so on. By the time I got to drive it, I was ready, and my few days driving on the right were eventless.

Mind you, my wife on the passenger seat was not as sanguine. She yelped every time a car came past us on the 'wrong' side.

User avatar
scrmbldggs
Has No Life
Posts: 19641
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 7:55 am
Custom Title: something
Location: sees Maria Frigoris from its house!

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:48 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:, I had the dubious privilege of renting a car and driving on the right for the first time in my life.
Of all the things that scare me, that is in the top ten.

I have spent almost 35 years training my body to instantaneously react in certain way, by driving on the left, in Australia and England. I can't see how I won't make one mistake, if I drive on the right hand side. Therefore when I have to do it, I become really nervous and irritable. I generally refuse to drive overseas.

Prolly a good idea in Hawaii as it could get you into really deep... water.
Hi, Io the lurker.

User avatar
Austin Harper
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4817
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:22 pm
Custom Title: Rock Chalk Astrohawk
Location: Detroit
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Austin Harper » Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:27 pm

When I was driving in South Africa I didn't have any problem staying on the right correct side of the road but I did have a tendency to drift over too far in my lane because it was disconcerting to see traffic moving past me on my right. I also had trouble with the turn signal because it was on the right side of the steering column instead of the left so I kept turning on the windshield wipers when I wanted to signal (and I finally got used to it just before I came back to the US so I had to deal with that again when I got home). Luckily I had never driven a stick shift before so I didn't have to get used to shifting with my left hand. What's really weird though is that when I recall any of my drives there the images are flipped in my mind so that I picture everything as if I was on the right side of the road.
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

User avatar
Frank Hoffman
Poster
Posts: 361
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:25 pm
Custom Title: Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Frank Hoffman » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:22 am

Austin Harper wrote:What's really weird though is that when I recall any of my drives there the images are flipped in my mind so that I picture everything as if I was on the right side of the road.

That's great that it not only happens, but that you became aware of it. I only just recently have begun to understand that the brain is not a videotape machine, simply recording reality as it goes past; for me that idea was disconcerting... and fascinating.

User avatar
Frank Hoffman
Poster
Posts: 361
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:25 pm
Custom Title: Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Frank Hoffman » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:35 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I think the end point of knowledge is to better or even best fit or function within society.

I can only speak for myself, but the fewer people I see in the course of a day the happier I am, and yet I love to learn... history, science, technology, philosophy. I learn simply for the "oh wow!" factor; in my case, gaining knowledge and functioning in society are mutually exclusive.

User avatar
Frank Hoffman
Poster
Posts: 361
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:25 pm
Custom Title: Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Frank Hoffman » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:50 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Should we even give students computers to use?

As a kid in the city library (one of the hundreds built by Carnegie) doing research for school I would wander away from the job at hand and find myself looking at books on law and art and, well, anything I felt like. So the impulse is the same, it is just the velocity that has changed with computers. When they enter the workforce, we will want them to achieve a certain level of productivity; learning to successfully avoid distractions is something computer use may actually help them with.

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29108
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Gord » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:43 pm

Frank Hoffman wrote:...the brain is not a videotape machine....

For some reason that reminds me of Senator Stevens' famous "...the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes."
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

User avatar
Frank Hoffman
Poster
Posts: 361
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:25 pm
Custom Title: Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Frank Hoffman » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:14 pm

Gord wrote:Senator Stevens' famous "...the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes."

As a fellow Alaskan (former), I make allowances. At least unlike one of his colleagues he did not, during congressional hearings, ask that if we stationed too much military material on it, might the island of Guam sink.
Last edited by Frank Hoffman on Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9888
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:58 pm

Frank

44% of congress is made up of lawyers. Figures!

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29108
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Gord » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:12 pm

Frank Hoffman wrote:As a fellow Alaskan (former), I make allowances.

Just because you once lived within the same political boundary lines as the guy doesn't mean you have to own his nonsense for yourself.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

User avatar
Austin Harper
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4817
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:22 pm
Custom Title: Rock Chalk Astrohawk
Location: Detroit
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Austin Harper » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:01 am

Frank Hoffman wrote:
Gord wrote:Senator Stevens' famous "...the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes."

As a fellow Alaskan (former), I make allowances. At least unlike one of his colleagues he did not, during congressional hearings, ask that if we stationed too much military material on it, might the island of Guam sink.

Now, now. Let's not put words into anyone's mouth. He didn't say it would sink he said it would "become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize."
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 29108
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Silent Ork
Location: Transcona

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Gord » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:55 pm

Ohhhh, so it would still be floating then!

See? He was concerned about the troops, not about the environment.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

User avatar
zeuzzz
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3859
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:33 pm
Custom Title: Unicorn Herder

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby zeuzzz » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:53 pm

We all know this because they are secretly watching porn 90% of the time when the teacher is looking the other way.
Always be you, unless you can be a unicorn; then be a unicorn.

User avatar
zeuzzz
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3859
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:33 pm
Custom Title: Unicorn Herder

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby zeuzzz » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:56 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Should we even give students computers to use?


lol no. I prefer pen and parchment technique. I am sure Shakespeare would agree.

.... on a more serious note a serious differentiation between computers and the internet needs to be made far more explicit in the above arguments.

A certain sub-section of students can learn more than their teachers in a very short time now due to internet about the subject they are being taught. Where-as others will just waste it on other 'internet' things. I think it balances out equivalently over-all.
Always be you, unless you can be a unicorn; then be a unicorn.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9888
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:13 pm

zeuzzz wrote:
A certain sub-section of students can learn more than their teachers in a very short time now due to internet about the subject they are being taught. Where-as others will just waste it on other 'internet' things. I think it balances out equivalently over-all.


It does not even require the internet. When I was a young lad, I disliked school and my attention span on lessons was abyssmal. Nevertheless I scored top of my class every damn time. Why? Because away from school I read like an obsessive compulsive. I worked my way right through a set of encyclopedias my parents bought, and remembered a hell of a lot of it. Back in the late 1950's, reading was my internet.

User avatar
Austin Harper
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4817
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:22 pm
Custom Title: Rock Chalk Astrohawk
Location: Detroit
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Austin Harper » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:53 pm

NERD
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9888
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:37 pm

I still am a nerd, Austin. Once a nerd ......

I have a mind full of trivia. Always do well in trivial pursuits and in quiz contests. My problem is that I have read so damn much that I do not always know where I got my facts from.

User avatar
Austin Harper
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4817
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:22 pm
Custom Title: Rock Chalk Astrohawk
Location: Detroit
Contact:

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby Austin Harper » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:35 am

I'd say most of us here are nerds and proud of it.
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

User avatar
scrmbldggs
Has No Life
Posts: 19641
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 7:55 am
Custom Title: something
Location: sees Maria Frigoris from its house!

Re: Computers inhibit learning.

Postby scrmbldggs » Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:10 am

Hi, Io the lurker.


Return to “Education”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest