Image by Bob.Fornal via Flickr
Yesterday I posted about the YouTube video "A Vision of Students Today". Today I found an interesting comment by one of my friends on facebook:
"My attention span is likely several times greater than that of the students in this video, yet with the explosion of electronic gadgets that all call out to you, I find it can be difficult to avoid the distraction these students have expressed as adding up to 26 hour days."
With the small number of gadgets and distractions that have been available to us as teens or twens, it was a lot easier for us to learn how to concentrate and not be distracted. Although even I can remember my mother reminding me to stay on the task. As a side thought: Maybe it is an inherent property of the developing brain of the youth to be distracted. Maybe the brain still is in a process to learn to distinguish between information that is vital, information that is task related, and information that safely can be neglected.
If it is the case that today's youth has a problem coping with being constantly disrupted in their activities, then it might be a task for education to teach the upcoming generation competencies and skills required to concentrate on the task ahead, and to use the gadgets goal oriented. The question remains, how can we do that without being familiar with the gadgets ourselves.
One question remains for me, is there really evidence that today's youth in general has more difficulties to concentrate on tasks , or are they just not as interested in the tasks presented to them. When my daughters are gaming, they can concentrate for hours. What do you think?