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Is technology responsible for decline in critical thinking & analysis?
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It is true that with the emergence of technology, learners have changed as a result of their exposure to technology. The multi-tasking and the use of computers, the Internet and video games, etc are on rise with the introduction of technology.

Reading for pleasure, which has declined among young people in recent decades, enhances thinking and engages the imagination in a way that visual media such as video games and television do not. How much should schools use new media, versus older techniques such as reading and classroom discussion? No one medium is good for everything. If we want to develop a variety of skills, we need a balanced media diet. Each medium has costs and benefits in terms of what skills each develops.

Schools should make more effort to test students using visual media. As students spend more time with visual media and less time with print, evaluation methods that include visual media will give a better picture of what they actually know. By using more visual media, students will process information better.

However, most visual media are real-time media that do not allow time for reflection, analysis or imagination. Therefore those do not get developed by real-time media such as television or video games. Technology is not a panacea in education, because of the skills that are being lost.

Reading develops imagination, induction, reflection and critical thinking, as well as vocabulary. Reading for pleasure is the key to developing these skills. Students today have more visual literacy and less print literacy. Many students do not read for pleasure and have not for decades. Parents should encourage their children to read and should read to their young children.

Wiring classrooms for Internet access does not enhance learning. The college students who watched "CNN Headline News" with just the news anchor on screen and without the "news crawl" across the bottom of the screen remembered significantly more facts from the televised broadcast than those who watched it with the distraction of the crawling text and with additional stock market and weather information on the screen.

So it is obvious that multi-tasking prevents people from getting a deeper understanding of information. Yet, for certain tasks, divided attention is important. If you're a pilot, you need to be able to monitor multiple instruments at the same time. If you're a cab driver, you need to pay attention to multiple events at the same time. If you're in the military, you need to multi-task too. On the other hand, if you're trying to solve a complex problem, you need sustained concentration. If you are doing a task that requires deep and sustained thought, multi-tasking is detrimental.

Visual intelligence has been rising globally for 50 years. In 1942, people's visual performance, as measured by a visual intelligence test known as Raven's Progressive Matrices, went steadily down with age and declined substantially from age 25 to 65. By 1992, there was a much less significant age-related disparity in visual intelligence. In a 1992 study, visual IQ stayed almost flat from age 25 to 65.

Therefore it can be said that much of this change is related to our increased use of technology, as well as other factors, including increased levels of formal education, improved nutrition, smaller families and increased societal complexity.

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