Generation Y, millennials, iPod Generation, better at multitasking then their elders. Yadda yadda yadda.
You've heard it all before, but is it true?
No. Probably not.
Read this great article in the Monitor on Psychology by Rebecca A. Clay.
- People in general are not good at multitasking.
- Young people are no better than their elders at multitasking.
- Multitasking actually takes longer. It is NOT a time saver.
- Learning done while multitasking is shallower learning, leading not to deep understanding (and flexible mental models) but only to an ability to regurgitate rote information.
Although I recommend the article, I do worry that some of its conclusions are drawn from too small a research base and may encompass a slight bias against the new media revolution. Still, I think we need to read these warnings because too many in our field don't see any downside to the new technologies.