Thursday, February 17, 2011

Learning and the Brain Conference 2011 - Linda Jackson

Linda Jackson
Learning and the Brain Conference 2011 - Breakout Session (PM)
Internet, Video Games and Children: Relationships with Academic Performance and Creativity - Children and Technology Project

What is IT doing to our children? Is it helping, hurting or having no effect on a multitude of developmental outcomes?

Academic Outcomes?

HomeNetToo Project 90 Families in Michigan were given computers and Internet for 16 months.

Frequency of Children's Internet Use - Mostly spent on websites and playing games.

No effects on psychological well-being
no effects on social involvement
positive effects on academic performance (GPA and MEAP reading scores)

By using the Internet, they were reading to figure out where to go. They weren't hanging out with their friends at the mall or doing other activities that wouldn't require reading (testing out this hypothesis right now).

Summary: (finding on the Effects of IT Use, 2005)
Internet use: suggestive evidence of benefits to reading scores and GPAs of under achieving children. Children Claim it is important to school performance

Communication Using the Internet: Mixed in the larger literature, there is evidence of positive and negative effects (e-mail, Instant Messaging) on social connections.

Cell phone use: very little research, especially on children's cell phone use.
Videogame Playing: Evidence that playing violent video games is also related to lower GPAs and in adults, to better visual-spatial skills.

Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory of Development Applied to IT Use:
Person & Context (graphic to look up online but took photo)

Children and Technology Project:
482 children from 20 middle schools in Michigan

Internet use predicted reading skills
communication using the Internet predicted nothing
Cell phone use predicted nothing
video game playing predicted visual-spatial and negatively predicted GPA.

Students who are low benefit the most from video game use and Internet access.

Internet use increases reading skills but this relationship may be limited to children who are initially low in reading skills.
Video game playing increases visual-spatial skills but this relationship maybe be limited to children who are initially average in school performance.
Cellphone use increase reading skills but the nature of this relationship is unclear. Cell phone use was infrequent in this sample of 12 year olds.

Communication using the Internet has no effect on any gender.

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