Digital Smarts - Is Their Mind Wandering?

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As schools move more to personalize learning through the use of digital devices and software, researchers are working to pinpoint when students' minds wander as they use software programs. A study of students' eye movements found that they may "zone out" 20% to 25% of the time when using such programs. But what should that mean for this kind of instruction? One idea is let the computer stop and repeat what is being shown, or change the subject to get the student’s attention back. Another is to use this research to evaluate instructional software pointing out when it is boring students and figuring out what is better done with a human teacher or in a group setting.

Either way it is important that we don’t do away with daydreaming. Some mathematicians purposely turn their attention to something irrelevant when they’re stuck on a problem and then the solution magically pops into their heads.

Daydreaming is also associated with some of the biggest breakthroughs in science and technology and the link to creativity is well established. Certainly something to think about as schools move to more tech driven personalized learning for your kids.