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The Brain : Learning and Memory
Chapter 3. FACTORS AFFECTING LEARNING With the rise of digital alternatives, the use of paper textbooks has all but disappeared. So, is reading electronically different to reading print? Some experiments have found no difference in comprehension. But in one study, when reading time was self- regulated rather than fixed, participants performed better after reading print. A 2013 US study of university students also found that reading on paper was less likely to encourage multitasking, and that has already been established as a clear advantage when it comes to learning (see p12). But digital technology has also revolutionised education in positive ways. The internet has brought free access to virtually unlimited troves of information. With the rise of video tutorials and free massive online open courses (MOOCs), education barriers are lower than ever. Multimedia in the form of images, videos and audio resources enrich and reinforce learning. They make experiences such as a virtual tour of China’s Great TECHNOLOGY: good or bad for learning? SMARTPHONES, TABLETS, HIGH-SPEED INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA HAVE CHANGED THE WAY WE LEARN. The bottom line is that TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM IS HERE TO STAY, and when distractions are minimised, IT CAN IMPROVE AND ENRICH LEARNING. Wall or a video of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech just a few keyboard strokes away. Interactive game-based learning programs have been found to be effective for teaching. “The gaming approach was both more effective in promoting students’ knowledge of computer memory concepts and more motivational than the non-gaming approach,” wrote the author of one University of Thessaly study of high- school computer science students. Assistive technologies have also improved education for students with learning disorders or sensory impairments such as deafness or blindness. Many visual and audio aids, such as speech recognition and text- to-speech software, now exist to help students with specific impairments.