Friday, November 18, 2016

New Year, Same Result

For about about 7 or 8 years now, I've been doing a week on Brains and Electronics with my 8th graders.  We cover material about how we really don't multitask...we sequentially task (Brain Rules), how blue light (smart phones, computer screens, LED lights, etc.) is bad for your health, how too much screen time is bad for your brain, and more.

Then we take an attention test, to which I add increasing electronic distraction.  Each year, the result is the same--their Baseline performance (before any distractions, like iPods, or other personal listening devices) was better than all the Distracted scores (and this year, the first test with multiple distractions was particularly bad).  Further, one last test, after one minute of a breathing and relaxation exercise (Relaxation), was demonstrably better than all other tests.  (Try the test.)

Here are the most significant findings:

  • ALL Relaxation Scores went up, to the highest level of all tests in the sequence.
  • iPods Plus (the first test with multiple distractions at the same time) all showed significant drop off.
  • All “Distracted” scores were lower than the best Baseline score.
For more details, go here.