The Irreversible Ways Educational Psychology and Technology Changed the Brain

By Hanna Lindstrom
Children today are saturated in technology—from digital learning games to more advanced interactions like social networking and text messaging. The Internet has changed much about how young people today connect and receive information. Though written off by many parents as pure entertainment or passing fads, these technologies may be having a more lasting impact on how young people learn and retain knowledge. The increasing role of digital and Internet-based programs in classrooms across the country only intensifies these potential effects. A number of recent reports have attempted to quantify the ways in which technological exposure can impact the way the human brain processes and sorts information, and it seems clear that constant exposure can cause change. Whether that change is detrimental is much less certain, however, and for now, technology seems destined to play an ever-growing role in education.

Technology’s impact on young people is perhaps most evident when it comes to schoolwork. Schools today commonly employ iPads to teach math and language skills, and teachers can set up social networks or blogs to encourage communication and interaction in the after-school hours. “These youth have been completely normalized by digital technologies—it is a fully integrated aspect of their lives,” education policy group The Education Arcade said in a 2009 study of technology’s impact on education. “Many students in this group are using new media and technologies to create new things in new ways, learn new things in new ways, and communicate in new ways with new people— behaviors that have become hardwired in their ways of thinking and operating in the world.”

Many argue that this sort of immersion approach prepares children for a work world that will likely revolve around new media. Framed this way, educating tomorrow’s workers to succeed in the fast-faced realm of technological savvy is a benefit that may well give them a competitive edge. Schools have been quick to embrace this possibility, and government programs are helping finance technology integration initiatives in nearly all states.

Not everyone agrees that the benefits are worth the costs, however. “Technology is a tool to assist learning. School closets and storage facilities across the U.S., though, are filled with cables, monitors and hardware costing millions of dollars that are now useless,” Paul Thomas, a veteran English teacher, wrote in a “debate” piece for The New York Times. Thomas was primarily concerned that money was being poured into new adoptions without providing enough background training for teachers to really use the technology to its fullest potential.

Others are concerned that implementing social technologies into the classroom can detract from the real value of the material presented, else present generally serious subjects in a too casual or “watered down” way. Critics with this view are often quick to point out that students are typically very connected outside of school, and as such are essentially training themselves to success in a wired world post-graduation.

A newer issue is just seeping into the debate, and that is how digital learning affects the development of children’s brains. A fair amount of research has been done showing that life in a multimedia world does alter the way the brain approaches information and learns new patterns. Very little has been said about whether this is harmful or advantageous, though. Changing the way kids learn to reflect the times and current market demands is certainly nothing new. While there is rightly some concern about the possible side effects of media dependence—shortened attention spans, the need for constant stimulation, and hyperactivity being among the most common—there may also be advantages to teaching the next generation to think and see the world in a more futuristic way. Most educators and policy makers believe that the risk is worth the rewards when it comes to student performance and overall learning.

Hanna Lindstrom is a writer and researcher for Feel free to check out more of her writing!

1 Comment

  1. I’m just a grandpa who intensely studied the history of educational psychology in America and in my U. of Mi days in the early to mid-90’s and for the balanced neurological and psychological sake of my children and now, my current two year part time focus is for my grandchildren , so disregard this as it currently pleases you.

    I would have to admit that the overwhelming associated problems seem irreversible, but just for a moment, let’s consider that newest 6-7 year old research out of the U. of Milano that was conducted for our post 9-11 U.S. Mental agencies.

    With that completed research, the specific relationship between our 24/7 advanced learning capable dorsomedial striatium neurons, sensory honest logic decisions and all, were made distinct from our 24/7 ‘habits, recorder for dorsomedial outcome, but survival mode logic only’ dorsolateral striatium neurons. Those researchers discovered that self- imposed and externally broadcast imposed neurological and psychological neuro-timing intrusions can and will part the 24/7 dorsolateral access to our dorsomedial neurons for rational learning capacities. In extreme education and achievement independent cases we have literal physical shrinking of the frontal lobes and dorsomedial neurons and as also recently discovered by American neurological scientists and through group fear associated neurological and psychological neuro-timing intrusions. To my understanding, as well as others (I’d love to see where the U. of Milano guys are now and with their findings and 7 years later), a neurological condition becomes present where the old and recorded new ideas that were once presented to our dorsomedials to our dorsolaterals, become the only resource to re-combine in idea form as compared to our natural dorsomedial capacities to create true new idea’s and from no-where’s as it seems.

    I explained this ‘no where’s” to my research aware new parent children as common dorsomedial human constants of honest sensory perceptions that simply haven’t had any word’s put to them as of yet. Kids, wadda ya think?

    Oh…the dramatic downtrodden American results that we are seeing with today are no more than as easily fixed as it was to de-program the various cults in the 60’s and 70’s, but I suppose one would have had to stop and listen to the robed cult members of the 60’s and 70’s and for a bit, as they neurologically couldn’t help but pour out their group imposed dorsolaterally restricted thoughts.

    Over the past two years and since becoming aware of the research, I explained all this to my beautiful new Mommy daughter and from her initial fear imposed defense of the k-12 American public school system, and after careful dorsomedial observation of the teachers and along with the present dorsomedial blinding’s and through the now obvious indoctrinations that she observed, and above her initial and spontaneous fear restrictions and well before my grandson completed his 1st grade in public school(catch the sight of the simple nth terraced dorsomedial successions as they commonly USED TO BE easily understood and with over 40+ years ago ), she had already set it up, paid and all, and for placing my brilliant six year old grandson in Catholic school and beginning with his second grade, as all was followed a rational full dorsomedial and sensory honest and real life frontal lobe born brand new idea of a comprehensive “NEVER AGAIN ” as she full dorsomedial pondered my beautiful two year old granddaughters full frontal lobe futures.
    Kids, wadda ya think? Yes…in this grandpa’s sensory honest dorsomedial view, we have an abundance of brand new sensory honest frontal lobe/dorsomedial born idea’s to easily apply to the American public. With 40+ years of fear associated dorsolateral word walled restrictions, it’ll be a previous un-worded dorsomedial snap of a finger to fix.

    Again, kids….wadda ya think? Don’t mind the previous 3,170 character restrictions in my words….there’s more and to get a very simply and honest and easy dorsomedial point across to you. This stuff was EASILY and FREELY and mentally HEALTILY done and by the un-intruded natural neuro-timing sensory honest dorsomedial reports that are as individually mentally healthy as the result of the 50’s and 60’s and when we commonly and successively set brand new national average scholastic RECORDS and from Lewis elementary school.

    Simply let your newly fear disassociated frontal lobes/ dorsomedials do the sensory honest job that they had no choice to do for the human constant of excellent mental health and to begin with. Here’s but another way to present those honest finding… It’s now FORTUNATE that American kids are full 24/7 dorsomedial managed before the advent of the imposed adult level neuro-timing-defeating word restrictions. This gives you something 24/7 real life BRAND NEW to be able to help these poor fear restricted kids with.

    The new resource is their memories that are of full and honest and mentally healthy dorsomedial management of their dorsolateral neurons. They don’t forget these mentally healthy neurological and psychological fingerprints that remain though a lifetime and found by that participant # record breaking 90’s research and for the results of common aging. Sakes, you kids have more fear disassociated and sensory honest dorsomedial resources at your eye-opening fingertips than you can presently understand.

    Simply and easily work with those sensory honest and natural dorsomedial managed fingerprints that exist in all human minds and from youth…and then just watch the natural re-establishment of the of the 24/7 UN-disrupted neurological sequences, as the NORMAL 24/7 frontal lobe/dorsomedial management of ‘habits’ dorsolateral s returns.

    Again…kids…wadda ya think? (warm grandpa type chuckle) I’m sure that there is at least one of you who can transpose all this into the fear associated language that currently dictates our American k-college educational system.

    With that other latest medical research and the prediction that 82.5 % of current American will suffer with real life bouts of mental illness by age 21, this grandpa sensory honestly gathers no other rational and brand new dorsomedial choice in the matter.

    This and finally so…ya BETTER THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!

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