Digital Nation

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The PBS documentary, Digital Nation, provided an interesting overview of the people and technology. It primarily focuses on the ongoing growing concerns regarding information overload and multitasking. It also covers digital technology, computers and the growing role they play in our school systems, learning, and education. It provides an inside look on virtual reality and the virtual gaming addiction, as well as the impact it has on real-life relationships. I found the video to be accurate and thought-provoking.

Multitasking is not a new development. It has always occurred, however the tasks we are juggling have changed. In the program, we learn that although many students believe they can successfully multitask, many were unable to do so. In a study done by Doctor Gary Small at UCLA, he studied and compared brain scans of volunteers reading and searching Google. The research showed that the brain is more active while on Google, especially in the front of the brain. Doctor Small then goes on to say that “on a brain scan big is not necessarily better” and gives the example of weight lifting meaning that although your brain shows less activity while reading, reading gradually builds and strengthens your brain over time. One instructor noted that while giving students a somewhat easy test regarding the exact materials reviewed in class and assigned reading, the students on average scored seventy five percent. His explanation for this is not that the students are dumb, but rather that they are distracted by electronics. Technology is everywhere around us in our day to day lives; most everyone uses some aspect of it daily. Cell phones have internet access so it can become a tempting and compulsive addiction. Students shown in the video admit that they frequently study for a test while texting and checking email. Towards the end of the video, one elementary school teacher states that she believes multitasking is important to prepare the students for their future...
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