A new report from the Reboot Foundation reveals that, not only is social media rife with misinformation on Covid-19, but the more time people spend on platforms like Twitter, the less informed they are on the virus’ spread and its prevention. Heavy users of social media are also more likely to take a lackadaisical attitude toward the pandemic in general, the report found. Given the current pandemic, such erroneous beliefs and misinformation among the public could have dire consequences and may be deepening the crisis.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my early experiences as I’ve read about the protests in Hong Kong. I have been struck, in particular, by the role civics education has played in the conflict. Specifically, a course called “Liberal Studies,” which has been blamed for fueling the energy of the young protesters.
Research released today by the Reboot Foundation sheds new light on the effect of devices on learning.
The new analysis builds on an earlier study. Last summer, the foundation released a paper that showed a weak link between technology use and student learning.
“Traditionally, the way labs have been run is, students are given a procedure that they follow and conduct an experiment to observe a particular phenomenon,” explains Natasha Holmes, an assistant professor at Cornell University specializing in physics education. “But there’s not a lot of critical thinking there. Most of the decisions are laid out for the students.”
The Reboot Foundation, which I founded to advance critical thinking in education, recently published a Parents’ Guide to Critical Thinking. A group of experts — led by researcher Sébastian Dieguez at the University of Fribourg — spent more than a year pulling together the guide, relying on the latest research in the sciences, and the document brims with tips on how parents can help their children learn to reason in the Digital Age.
Next-generation cell phones have commandeered our attention spans with their constant demands, and according to a study released last year, most people check their phones every 12 minutes or so. Ten percent of people check their phones every four minutes.
The incessant distractions can have a negative impact on our lives, and studies show that too much cell phone use harms everything from learning to relationships.