On March 19 CLAIR students and faculty will host Dr. Daniel Willingham, Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. His talk is titled “Are new technologies changing the way kids think?”
About Dr. Willingham
Daniel Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. He has taught at the University of Virginia since 1992, where he focuses his research on the brain basis of learning and memory. All of his current research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-16 education. He writes the “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” column for American Educatormagazine, and is the author of Why Don’t Students Like School?, When Can You Trust the Experts?, and Raising Readers in an Age of Distraction (forthcoming). His writing on education has appeared in twelve languages.
“Are New Technologies Changing the Way Kids Think?”
Most teachers believe that new technologies–in particular, text messaging, gaming, and prolonged exposure to video content–with their rapidly changing screens and quick shifting narrative, are changing the way children think. The concern is usually that kids today are (1) have shortened attention spans and (2) are so used to multi-tasking that they are uncomfortable attending to just one thing. Dr. Willingham will present the latest laboratory data that bear on these issues and conclude that these fears are probably inaccurate. He will offer an alternative interpretation of what teachers feel they see regarding children’s attention.