Lai Paper - Running head Multitasking or Distracting 1...

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Running head: Multitasking or Distracting? 1 Abstract In this paper I researched the distraction that non-academic sites cause when students are trying to multitask the non-academic site and schoolwork. I found the biological reasons as to why this is not possible, such as the use of the Striatum part of the brain. I also found that when you allow someone to view a form of media while performing a task, if the media is seemingly more interested the task will not be done efficiently or to the participant best quality. The research I have done found that students receive lower grades when they are attempting to multitask non- academic sites with schoolwork. I had predicted as much. I also found that although this may be distracting the laptops themselves are not bad in classrooms. I had predicted differently. My implications are that when a non-academic site while doing schoolwork students will perform worse than they would if they were to not attempt to multitask. Another implication is that multitasking does more harm than good. In my research I found that all of the students were not able to complete simple worksheet while an entertaining T.V. clip was running. In the future I think this will only get worse or lead to more and more teachers banning laptops from classrooms when really they should just give specific tasks for laptop use in class.
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2 Multitasking or Distracting? Multitasking originally was used to describe the “parallel processing abilities of computers… Multitasking is now used to describe how humans try to do more than one thing at the same time” (Head & Eisenberg, 2011, p. 6). Multitasking is generally seen as being efficient, however, for students multitasking can often do more harm than good. Many believe with the “Net Generation”, the generation of those who learned to use technology such as computers at a young age, have a more developed ability to multitask than those before them. This belief leads many to feel it is alright for students to use on non-academic websites while in class or doing school work. This is not true however; attempting to multitask with non-academic websites during class or while doing schoolwork causes distractions and allows for less information to be retained; thus resulting in lower grades. Students become more easily distracted by these website because they are seemingly more entertaining than the task at hand. Attempting to multitask with non-academic websites while in class or doing schoolwork becomes a distraction to a student, causing the student to absorb less information, do less quality work, and get lower grades than he or she would if the non-academic site was not opened. There are two kinds of multitasking, doing two tasks that require different brain functions, and doing two tasks that use the same brain function. The first of the two, doing two tasks that use different cognitive brain functions, is usually not a hard to accomplish, for example walking and talking, they are not in anyway the same kind of task. The second of the two, doing
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This note was uploaded on 12/11/2011 for the course LAI 350 taught by Professor Ginsburg during the Fall '08 term at SUNY Buffalo.

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Lai Paper - Running head Multitasking or Distracting 1...

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