Online Learning and Multitasking

Education

Nowadays, you can find kids at just about any elementary school, high school or college that text, tweet and post like it's a full time job. Social media has definitely made today's students the most interconnected and tech-savvy generation in history, but what else has it changed? We were interested in finding out.

As it turns out, we spend more time multitasking than we ever have before, but studies show that 98% of us aren't actually very good at it. Dozens of studies agree that both kids and adults are far less effective as learners, communicators and problem solvers when they're distracted.

The reason it feels effortless to jump between hypertext links on Wikipedia or Twitter hashtags while we're transcribing lecture notes or finishing up assignments is because we actually are expending less effort and, as a result, we're also learning less. It's much more productive to focus on one task at a time.

The graphic below breaks down the costs multitasking takes on the quality of the "study hours" we wile away doing just about everything but studying:

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