Gadgets have a place in education, but they can’t replace knowledge


Gadgets have a place in education, but they can’t replace knowledge

His children go back to school this week with their new Christmas gadgets and don’t remember the world without smartphones, tablets, e-readers and laptops. For some, this generation of digital natives are used in the form of collaboration and social technologies, which will make revolutionary change learning others worry that the equipment the damage to the concentration range, and thoughtful.

So what’s the truth about technology and education? Is it better to read “war and peace” on a Kindle or paper? Or should we give up 19th century fiction and fully support the creation of our own story on Facebook? The rapid development of technological change means a lack of large-scale research into these problems, as one recent article in “new scientist” acknowledges. But there are some reliable studies.

For example, there is ample evidence that one of the most popular technologies is false. A lot of people have said – from principals to union representatives, today’s host – the Internet has reduced the importance of knowing facts. However, the study of cognitive science suggests the importance of remembering facts. When we think, we use working memory and long-term memory. Long-term memory is huge, but working memory is limited to four to seven items and can easily be overloaded. By using facts as long-term memories, we release valuable space in our working memory to manipulate these facts and combine them with new facts.

This is why the student to study the schedule is very important for students: remember that they do not kill the conceptual understanding, we also need a long-term memory fact framework to understand what we found on the Internet; Studies have shown that students often make mistakes when asked to query unfamiliar knowledge. Long-term memory is not a crazy part of what we can outsource to the cloud. It is an integral part of all our thinking processes and even suggests that it may be “the seat of human intellectual skill”.

While technology cannot erase the need to remember facts, it may make it easier to learn. Another important insight from cognitive psychology is that we remember our thoughts. In the words of professor Dan willingham of the university of Virginia, memory is the residue of thought.

At first glance, technology doesn’t seem to be helpful here. Pop-up messages remind us that changing websites and attractive hyperlinks make it hard to think about what we should do. Studies in North America show that college students often use laptops when they listen to lectures, and fewer students than they listen to. Even if we turn off the Internet, computers can still be distracting. Willingham cites the example of a student who has spent most of his time experimenting with different animations in Powerpoint, citing the Spanish civil war.

However, while distraction may interfere with learning, technology does not always lead to distraction. The striking thing about many computer games is that while they tend to involve fairly monotonous tasks, they are still incredibly addictive. People playing tetris don’t seem to try to ignore distractions. A possible solution to the distraction problem, therefore, is to design education games to capture and focus attention in the same manner as computer games. Duolingo and Khan Academy are two popular learning applications that offer points and badges when students complete a challenge. Solomon, a former senior successful at king’s college mathematics, the former head of Bruno Reddy (Bruno Reddy) developed on behalf of “Rock star” (Times Tables Rock Stars) game, if the students replied in a second math problem, students will be the spirit of “Rock”.

Even in such promising applications, if we want to learn, we still need to spend time, effort and thinking. Cognitive psychology pioneer Herbert Simon (Herbert Simon) wrote: “although we have a reasonable basis, hope we can find a way to make the learning process more efficient, but we should not expect miracle effortless learning. The tremendous computing power we have is absolutely likely to make learning easier – but only when we admit it will never make it effortless.


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