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Internet for Kids and How They Do Their Homework

March 19, 2012 at 11:43 AM

uKnowKids HomeworkRight now I'm reading The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brainsby Nicholas Carr. He wrote an article for The Atlantic magazine a few years back called “Is Google making us Stoopid?” and this book is essentially an elaboration on that.

Carr is a technology writer critical of how the Internet may be affecting the way we think. Our heavy-duty usage of the web may be essentially rewiring our brains, he argues, and he makes a pretty convincing argument.

I automatically think of the availability of internet and facebook for kids to use for homework. When they research, they're not breaking out the encyclopedias gathering dust at the library; they're going online where everything is “scan-able.”

 What I mean by “scan-able” is this: web writing is different than what you see in books. Internet articles avoid big blocks of text, complex sentences, and long paragraphs. Bold subheads enumerate each point. Basically, you should be able to scan the article and know what it says without actually reading it. (I'm a web writer, I know).

Is this emphasis on “scan-ability” on the Internet impacting our kids' brains? Are they becoming more impatient? Is it making them more likely to turn to Cliff's Notes instead of slogging through The Merchant of Venice?

I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that the Internet is making our kids “stoopid.” But I can see how it could, just maybe, be impacting the way they think on a deeper level than we suspect.

                                     
Tim Woda

Written by Tim Woda

Tim Woda is an Internet safety expert, and a passionate advocate for empowering families and protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers. Woda was on the founding team of buySAFE, an Internet trust and safety company, and he started working on child safety issues after his son was targeted by a child predator online. While his son was unharmed, the incident led Woda to kick-start uKnow.com. You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.

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