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Science. 2009 Jan 2;323(5910):69-71. doi: 10.1126/science.1167190.

Technology and informal education: what is taught, what is learned.

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  • Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

Abstract

The informal learning environments of television, video games, and the Internet are producing learners with a new profile of cognitive skills. This profile features widespread and sophisticated development of visual-spatial skills, such as iconic representation and spatial visualization. A pressing social problem is the prevalence of violent video games, leading to desensitization, aggressive behavior, and gender inequity in opportunities to develop visual-spatial skills. Formal education must adapt to these changes, taking advantage of new strengths in visual-spatial intelligence and compensating for new weaknesses in higher-order cognitive processes: abstract vocabulary, mindfulness, reflection, inductive problem solving, critical thinking, and imagination. These develop through the use of an older technology, reading, which, along with audio media such as radio, also stimulates imagination. Informal education therefore requires a balanced media diet using each technology's specific strengths in order to develop a complete profile of cognitive skills.

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PMID:
19119220
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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