Monday, November 22, 2010

The Impact of Everyday Interactions

The Impact of Everyday Interactions

Ordinary moments may become the biggest treasured memory for a child

by Allison Akey www.FocusOnTheFamily.com Aug/Sept 2009

Do you ever wonder what memories your children will treasure when they become adults? Down the road, you may be surprised by what they recall.

Picture this scene: It is your daughter's 10th birthday. You want to make her party extra special. After all, she has told you every day for the past month that she is finally in the double digits and "no longer a child." You have plotted a surprise birthday party for weeks. You've invited her friends, bought snacks, hung pink and purple streamers, blown up balloons, spent hours meticulously decorating the cake and hired Sparkles the Clown. The guests arrive, and the party is a huge success.

Years later, as the two of you swap your favorite memories, your daughter mentions her 10th birthday. You assume she will rave about the beautiful cake and Sparkles' funny balloon animals, but instead she recalls how much fun it was to ride in the van with you to pick up doughnuts for breakfast. Not only were doughnuts a special treat, but the one-on-one time she had with you was also priceless. You sit dumbfounded and wonder what other simple memories she holds dear that you do not even remember.

Everyday interactions may be more meaningful than many parents realize. Most children find just as much, or even more, joy in the little things as they do in life's big events. Eating a special breakfast of chocolate-chip pancakes, picking out the perfect backpack for the first day of school and singing silly songs in the car could be the highlights of your children's younger years.

Busyness can make it difficult for parents to savor life's ordinary moments. But it is precisely those moments that your children will treasure forever.

I am speaking from personal experience: That little girl enjoying a trip to the store was me. And to this day, that simple event remains one of my favorite memories of time spent with my father.

Study Says, Facebook Use Can Lower Grades by 20 Percent

Facebook use Can lower grades by 20 percent, study says


Study finds university students distracted by social networking site

By Suzanne Choney msnbc.com, updated 9/7/2010 6:26:19 PM ET

Does the "F" in Facebook stand for an "F" in school? A new study says that college students who are on Facebook while studying or doing homework wind up getting 20 percent lower grades than students who don't have the social networking site in visual range, or even running in the background on their computers or mobile phones.

The study, reported in the Daily Mail of Britain, was done by Netherlands psychologist Paul A. Kirschnera of the Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies at the Open University of the Netherlands, and Aryn C. Karpinskib of Ohio State University. It will be published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Kirschnera told the Daily Mail that his team studied 219 U.S. university students between ages 19 and 54, and found that Facebook user had a typical grade point average of 3.06, while "non-users" had an average GPA of 3.82.

The psychologist said the study wasn't about whether Facebook's good or bad, but goes more to the stereotype that younger people are fluid multi-taskers —sending text message, listening to music, reading a book, all at the same time, for example — without any problems. (Driving and texting at the same time is, of course, being the among the most dangerous multi-tasking activities anyone can do.)

"The problem is that most people have Facebook or other social networking sites, their e-mails and maybe instant messaging constantly running in the background while they are carrying out other tasks," Kirschnera told the newspaper.

"Our study, and other previous work, suggests that while people may think constant task-switching allows them to get more done in less time, the reality is it extends the amount of time needed to carry out tasks and leads to more mistakes.

"We should resist the fashionable views of educational gurus that children can multi-task, and that we should adapt our education systems accordingly to keep up with the times."

Among the comments to the story was this one, from "I'moverhere" in Britain: "Believe me, if it isn't Facebook, it's something else. There's always something ready to distract a bored mind. While you're at it why not do a similar survey relating to consoles, television, texting, radio, football practice and staring into space? 

"Having said that, Facebook does take up a lot of time due to society's increasing dependence on computers for education. Even in 2004 when I was doing A levels, I would get information from a book rather than Wikipedia. This instant-satisfaction-minimum-effort society has a lot to answer for."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Research shows facebook and studying don't mix


When college students multitask by using Facebook and studying simultaneously, they get lower grades—20% lower—than those who don't have their Facebook profile running within their visual range. 
The study, conducted by Dutch psychologist Paul A. Kirschnera and Ohio State researcher Aryn C. Karpinskib, examined the study habits of 219 U.S. university students between the ages of 19 and 54. The grade point average of the Facebook multitaskers was 3.06, compared to 3.82 for nonusers. 
"The problem is that most people have Facebook or other social networking sites, their e-mails and maybe instant messaging constantly running in the background while they are carrying out other tasks," Kirschnera said in an interview with Britain's Daily Mail. "Our study, and other previous work, suggests that while people may think constant task-switching allows them to get more done in less time, the reality is it extends the amount of time needed to carry out tasks and leads to more mistakes." 
Kirschnera concluded the study shows, "We should resist the fashionable views of educational gurus that children can multitask, and that we should adapt our education systems accordingly to keep up with the times."
msnbc.com, 9/7/10



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Who's That Texting Your Kids in Class?

Who's That Texting Your Kids in Class 66% of the Time? Parents

BY AUSTIN CARRWed Sep 8, 2010, Reprinted from FastCompany.com
The days of getting caught talking in class are over--and so aren't the days of even gettingcaught.
According to a new survey by app developer textPlus, which surveyed more than 600 of its users aged 13 to 17, texting is more rampant than ever in the classroom. A whopping 42.5% of teens admit to texting during class, and more than half of those say they text sometimes or constantly. What's more, nearly 80% of students say they've never gotten in trouble for texting during class, suggesting the eyes-down, cell-under-the-desk method is slipping past even your most yard-stick taunting school teachers.
With more than 42% of teens admitting to bringing a cell phone or iPod Touch to class, isn't it time schools start cracking down? And if technology is to become more a part of education, how will teachers ever track students who are already able to pull off using these devices when they're not supposed to? As more and more gadgets enter the classroom, won't it just make it easier to find distractions?
For example, Houghton Mifflin, the world's largest provider of educational materials for K-12, today launched its first full-curriculum algebra app for the iPad. Called the HMH Fuse, the publisher's aim is to find a new interactive platform to move "beyond the one-way experience of a print or digital textbook," according to a company statement.
And to gear up for the app, Houghton Mifflin is commencing a year-long pilot in several California school districts to see whether iPad-delivered content stacks up against regular, old boring textbooks. In total, 400 iPads will be piloted, and the app will provide "real-time student-specific performance feedback," and comprehensive student tracking tools.
Can you imagine how kids will game the classroom once they have the full-might of the iPad's app store? How will teachers ever keep up when they can't even keep up with cell phones?
Part of the problem is that kids don't feel guilty for their actions. Roughly 74% of students don't believe it's wrong to text during school time, a mindset which permeates not just learning but homework too: About one in three teens admit to using text lingo (e.g. "u" or "4" or "imho") in written school assignments. How do we change this? Perhaps we start with the parents: A shocking 66% of teens report that they've received texts from their parents, even when their parents know they're in class.
Monkey see, monkey do.
For teachers who spend hours and hours a day updating Excel spreadsheets with student data, Houghton Mifflin's app may be a blessing--for students, who yearn for even more distractions, this might be a godsend.
Of course, we're excited for the positive impact technology can have on education, but if textPlus's survey provides any indication of how well iPods and cell phones are monitored (T-Mobile's promotion announced this morning won't help), schools and teachers have a long way to go before getting their students to use iPads correctly in the classroom.


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Study links too much texting, social networking to health risks


Study Links Too Much Texting, 

Social Networking To Health Risks







CNN) -- All that texting and social networking by teenagers could come back to byte them.

A new study by the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine links poor health behaviors -- including smoking, drinking and sexual activity -- to hypertexting and hypernetworking.

The study defines hypertexting as sending more than 120 messages per school day. Hypernetworking is spending more than three hours per school day on social network sites like Facebook, it said.

"The startling results of this study suggest that when left unchecked texting and other widely popular methods of staying connected can have dangerous health effects on teenagers," said Scott Frank, lead researcher on the study. "This should be a wake-up call for parents to not only help their children stay safe by not texting and driving, but by discouraging excessive use of the cell phone or social websites in general."
Teenagers are "spending really an excessive amount of time online," he added later during a CNN interview. By doing so, they are contributing to "high-tech peer pressure."

Hypertexting was reported by nearly 20 percent of the Midwestern teens surveyed, according to the study.

According to the study, teens who are hypertexters are:
-- two times more likely to have tried alcohol
-- nearly 3.5 times more likely to have had sex
-- 40 percent more likely to have tried cigarettes
-- 41 percent more likely to have used illicit drugs
-- 43 percent more likely to be binge drinkers
-- 55 percent more likely to have been in a physical fight
-- 90 percent more likely to report four or more sexual partners

Hypernetworking was less pervasive, at 11.5 percent, but still associated with a similar list of maladies, the study found.
According to the research, these teens are:
-- 60 percent more likely to report four or more sexual partners
-- 62 percent more likely to have tried cigarettes
-- 69 percent more likely to be binge drinkers
-- 69 percent more likely to have had sex
-- 79 percent more likely to have tried alcohol
-- 84 percent more likely to have used illicit drugs
-- 94 percent more likely to have been in a physical fight

Frank noted that minorities, children of parents with less education, and teenagers from homes without a father are more likely to engage in hypertexting and hypernetworking. He also cautioned, however, that the study "does not demonstrate cause and effect."

"We are not saying texting causes these behaviors," he stressed. "We can recognize that these kinds of connections ... may be facilitating or enabling these kinds of behaviors, but we certainly can't think of (the online connections) as causing them."

Nevertheless, researchers say the results of the study are so striking that they are giving rise to a new health risk category for the age group.

The study is not the first time texting and social networking have come under fire. The activities have been blamed for accidents and promoting bad grammar skills.

In January, federal safety regulators proposed a set of guidelines for states to create laws that would ban text messaging while driving.
Under the proposed guidelines, drivers caught typing on a handheld device while behind the wheel would face a minimum fine of $75 and unspecified action against their driving privileges. In cases resulting in serious injury or death, a driving while texting offense could be considered a felony.

A ban on texting behind the wheel has already been enacted in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Seven states have banned the use of all handheld devices while driving.

And educators have long decried electronic forms of communication for gutting written language skills in students, starting with e-mails, expanding to instant messaging and continuing with text messaging and social networking.

But it should be noted that teachers also complained about poor grammar before the internet came to be.

For books and resources to help you connect and communicate values to your kids check out our website at: http://www.almenconi.com/
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