Impact of internet on our brains

What is the Internet Doing to our Brains?

Dr. Paul Howard Jones shared his views and findings in the video.

Is Google rewiring our brains?

Is it true that the more time we spend on internet, the less time we spend in real life socialising?

In the highlights of Recent Social Network Site Research

– SNS’s generally stimulate teenage social connectedness and psychological well-being

– It is about how the technology is used: Benefits if supporting existing friendships

Is the internet bad for us?

Paul compares technology of fire-making

– GOOD for warmth and toasting muffins

– BAD: if used carelessly – No panic headlines: “Fire may destroy us”

– we understand dangers and precautions.

It’s about how we use technology – when, how much, what for…

So, it is the affordance of technology that makes the difference, based on what and how technology is used in situations.

Would the use of internet lead people to do more or less physical exercise?  Research findings on this were divided – with some indicating that people exercised more whilst others indicating that people exercised less with the use of internet.

Are games (and internet games in particular) good teachers?

In Paul’s views games could be good teacher.

Action video games improve:

– Performance on many visuomotor tasks

– Switching of visual attention

– Suppression of distracting visual influences

– Inference of an action’s probable outcome

– Contrast sensitivity (primary factor limiting sight)

What are people doing on internet?

– Adults – pornography & illicit relationship

– Young people – gaming

This is an interesting finding.  I think it depends on what sort of games people are involved in.  There are World of Warcraft, educational games etc.

In the virtual World such as SecondLife, there are lots of people immersed in it, for socialising, communicating and sharing, education, or dating etc.  There are huge potential of the use SecondLife in Medical and Health Education, SecondLife in distance education.

Another reason why games could simulate learning is based on the premises that : We love uncertain rewards.  This is especially true for those of us who like to overcome the obstacles, and to achieve certain outcomes, like advancement of achievement levels and engagement and interaction with others to accomplish team, network, or community (or COPs) goals – that’s the reward that most of us like.  These may relate to the use of gamification to engage people (students in particular), so they would interact with the games, people and those involved in the system.

What else have you found, with internet and games in particular, on our brain?

To explore further:

How about the impact of internet on teaching and learning?  Your views….


#Change11 #CCK12 The Digital Divide

Is digital divide an issue? How to bridge the digital divide?

These are the questions raised and addressed by Aleph.

Based on the research finding (Dijk and Hacker, 2003), learning digital skills will be a strategic objective for educational institutions at all levels.  In general, formal education runs behind because means are lacking and teachers are not sufficiently trained or motivated on online learning. Instrumental and informational skills have to be learned at school.

There are also challenges relating to immigrants and natives divide, as I have shared in my previous post on the teaching and learning of net generations with new and emerging technologies.

Here are some recent updates on digital divide:

Hilbert, M. 2011. The end justifies the definition: The manifold outlooks on the digital divide and their practical usefulness for policy-making. Telecommunications Policy, 35(8), 715-736. Retrieved from:

Schradie, Jen. The Digital Production Gap: The Digital Divide and Web 2.0 Collide. Poetics, Vol. 39, No. 2. April 2011, p. 145-168.

#Change11 Impact of social media and internet, & 21st century learning (Part 2)

I enjoyed reading this post by Grainne, where she writes:

“He then turned to Ron Barnett’s work (2005) on textual instability, suggesting this gives an example of the instability in academia’s ideas of itself. Barnett goes on to argue that the media implicated in the academy’s inability to claim universality in its pursuit of truth – supercomplexity related to texts a world of uncertainty all notions, such as truth come under scrutiny, revised and contested, concepts broken open and subject to multiple interpretation. Ray questioned how can we prepare our students to cope with this supercomplexity?

He talked about Mark Poster’s notions of authority and the notion of the academic gate keeper. Poster explored digitization and the effect on all aspects of social. He argued that this has resulted in the breaking down of boundaries in academic roles and identities. Ray wondered what would be the implications of a world in which all texts were digital and in which there were no originals. More broadly, what is the role of the university and the discipline in this context, where here is now no authority?”

How are we going to prepare students to cope with this supercomplexity?

In this Teaching for Supercomplexity: A Pedagogy for Higher Education by Ronald Barnett and Susan Hallam, the question of : “What forms of learning and teaching are appropriate to a learning society and globalization” was raised.  In face of supercomplexity, it is important to develop students not just ‘core skills’ but self reliance.  Graduates will have to have powers of ‘self-reliance’ in order to cope with and to act purposely in that world.

There are many ways of helping students to develop such self reliance. I have come up with the following:

(1) Learning to learn – a connectivist approach towards learning,

(2) Creation and development of a learning platform where the community of learners learn together, based upon their goals, and their social needs,

(3) Incorporation of future of education strategies,

(4) A change from traditional pedagogy to digital and netagogy.

What is the role of the university?

In this post by Stephen, he asks if internet would destroy the ivory tower.

Stephen says:  “I suspect that in the near future we are going to see a lot of experimentation with new forms of higher education, reflecting the fact that these institutions in fact serve many purposes other than merely transmitting knowledge/skills to students.”

This led me to reflect on this – what the internet means for how we think about the world.

“Yet, for the coming generation, knowing looks less like capturing truths in books than engaging in never-settled networks of discussion and argument. That social activity — collaborative and contentious, often at the same time — is a more accurate reflection of our condition as imperfect social creatures trying to understand a world that is too big and too complex for even the biggest-headed expert.”

So that is why social network and media could likely be the minefield that would  determine the future of education and learning.

Social Media and Networks

This Social Media facts and statistics tells the story.

“Social networks play a prominent role in Internet users’ life as they spend significant number of hours daily either by chatting, uploading pictures or sharing information. Leaving behind all other social networks Facebook has embraced 800 million users and still increasing as the days roll down. On the other hand Twitter has an active user base of 100+ million while LinkedIn influences 133.98 million active users.”

Here are 21st century learning videos:

So, here is how we were caught in the web:

See Part 3 in a coming post soon.