Should We Let Our Students Multitask ?

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February 3, 2014
Are you confused about whether multitasking is an asset or a liability? You probably are not alone in this and I have heard it from so many teachers. Some think that being able to do multiple tasks simultaneously is a necessity in this digital age; others view it as a waste of time and attention and a real hindrance to deep learning; a third camp adopts a softer stance claiming that it depends on the tasks you are doing: tasks that require profound thinking and attention are not to be multitasked while other less important tasks can be managed collectively.

However, insights coming out of scientific studies in the field of cognitive psychology speak counter to the views held by those who believe in multitasking. Focus is a key factor in learning and without a mindful attention focus does not exist.

Daniel Goleman, celebrated psychologist and journalist, author of the #1 international bestseller Emotional Intelligence, persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to survive in a complex world. Daniel has recently published another wonderful work entitled "Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence" where he underscores the importance of focus and mindful meditation and mono-tasking for a better achievement. The books also contains a wide variety of scientific studies done by renowned researchers and that all prove the importance of focusing on one single task at a time for a higher performance to occur.

I am also sharing with you three great TED Ed videos that shed more light on the inconveniences of multitasking and centrality of focus.

1- The Distracted Mind

2-What Percentage of Your Brain Do You Use?

3- The Importance of Focus

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