Sunday, March 21, 2010

effects with vs. effects of technology

Salomon, Perkins, and Globerson in the article available for download below, discuss the effects with human-technology partnership vs. effects of or from that partnership on the cognitive abilities of the human involved. Is there a "residual cognitive impact", an improvement in cognitive abilities resulting from use of intelligent technologies.

I now want you to add the following column of numbers and then divide by 354. 89, 196, 2438, 13, 197, 33. Were you able to do that easily without using a calculator? I hope so, it was what you learned sometime in 4th, 5th, or 6th grade and have likely forgotten due to reliance on technology.

It is obvious to most that partnership with tools of all kinds including computers provides cognitive benefits. Even with relatively simple tools like hammers, saws, pencils, planes and the like, we are smarter with tools than without. It is much less certain whether that partnership has educational value when the particular technology is no longer or not presently available for use. Take a column of numbers and remove the technological device and see what comes next.

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