Pshh..I’m doing homework..

“In kids, the prefrontal cortex is still developing,” said Jordan Grafman, chief of the cognitive neuroscience section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health. Most of the people I know would be like “what!?” if they heard that, but it’s true! Have you ever found yourself being constantly distracted by some kind of electronic while doing homework? Well, that’s probably the cause! Grafman also says “Developing strength in one’s ability to stall immediate gratification is part of growing up”. Could the cause really be just part of our development or because we are constantly distracted by modern electronics? In a recent survey, 59% of girls from ages 15 to 17 said they liked to do at least one thing in addition to homework, and 27% said they liked to do at least three other things.

This poll also found that these kids listen to music, watch TV or a movie, surf the internet, chat on the phone, IM, text, or play video games while trying to complete homework. Personally, I can admit to doing many of those things along with schoolwork, but sometimes it can get very distracting. When you’re constantly being interrupted by the vibration of your cell phone or your favorite song that comes onto the radio that you just have to sing along to, it makes it very difficult to try to study for a vocabulary test or to learn a new math skill. Research proves that with enough practice, you can sharpen your ability to know how often and when to efficiently shift focus to other tasks. Also, this can sharpen your capability to visually scan between the tabs that are open on your computer. In response, Russell Poldrack, an associate professor of psychology says “What it might suggest is that if you learn these things while you’re distracted, then your ability to generalize that knowledge might not be as good, even if you can learn under multi-tasking, it can change how you learn.

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” Some say that the computer makes it hard to stay focused because there are so many distractions. When your just on the website you’re doing research for school on, there are all these clothing stores, restaurant, and “CLICK HERE!” advertisements that even doing homework gets you side-tracked. Parents, like my own, always say “turn off the radio while you’re doing your homework” or “turn off the TV so your sister can study”. Don’t parents always know best? I think that modern electronics are too distracting and can be a cause of bad grades. In elementary school, it was so easy for kids to do homework because there wasn’t much to distract them with, but in their teen years it gets hard to juggle all those things at once. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, and Youtube can cause you to become so sidetracked that you completely forget why you are on the computer in the first place. Modern electronics aren’t all bad, but if you’re trying to get caught up in school or make honor role, the temptations of just sending a quick text or updating your online status are just too great to be able to fully concentrate. If there weren’t so many electronic distractions, then it would be a lot easier to get schoolwork done and maintain a complete focus during studying sessions. Either you get good grades, or you don’t.

I’m not saying electronic distractions are the complete cause for bad grades, but they could definitely contribute to it. As long as one has control over how effectively or efficiently they use technology, then there shouldn’t be any problems with using modern technology while completing school assignments; but of course, that’s in a perfect world. If kids really want to do better in school, then they need to do homework somewhere they can’t get distracted. Somewhere with no computer, TV, or cell phone would be very unlikely; but parents setting rules like no TV from 3:00-6:00, restricting internet use, or a no texting during homework rule could greatly affect the work ethic of a student while doing homework.