In today’s era of social media, many parents are struggling with how much is too much.  Learning Guru, Annie Murphy did some research to determine if technology makes our kids smarter or not.

Here’s a list of commonly used gadgets that may have surprising effects.

Calculator: Calculators are good but should not be used until an accurate estimate of what the answer should be is provided.

Auto-complete: Seems to make adolescent users faster but less accurate when responding to a battery of cognitive tests.

Texting: Scientists found, kids (8-12) that sent three or more text messages a day had significantly lower scores on literacy tests than children who sent none. But, those children who, when asked to write a message, showed greater use of text abbreviations (i.e “c u l8r” for “see you later”) tended to score higher on a measure of verbal reasoning ability. This can be attributed to the condensed language of texting requires an awareness of how sounds relate to written English.
Search Engines: Search engines tend to promote better recall of where to find information rather than recall of information itself.  Critical thinking and problem-solving are based on facts so in order for information to be stored in your head, you have to read and do your own fact-finding.
Email: Email is a convenient way of communication; however, multi-tasking makes us less intelligent.  Research shows employees that divided their attention between email and other tasks experienced a 10-point decline in IQ.  So, when you need to get work done, its best to shut down the internet for a predetermined period of time.
TV: Research shows scores on a general knowledge test were lowest among those who watched a lot of TV and highest among people who read newspapers, magazines and books.  Watching TV is negatively associated with knowledge acquisition-except when it involves public television, news, or documentary programs.
Well, does technology make our kids stupid or smart?  The answer is “both”; however, moderation and careful choices are key.
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photo by: breity