Sunday, August 17, 2008

Byron, is the panic over?

There was a lot more to the Byron Review than was reported in most UK media. It included material that could be argued to leave open the possibility that the Web offers benefits for education. At least some of the research could be followed up during the rest of 2008.

From the conclusion section, Usha Goswami (PDF)

Of course, humans can use language (“inner speech”) and cognitive
self-regulation to inhibit the impact of learning that is not useful, and to quarantine what is imaginary from what is real. As younger children tend to have poorer language skills and poorer quarantining abilities, learning from new media could be speculated to have stronger effects on younger children.
Alternatively, as older children are more responsive to the peer group and
have the skills required to seek out certain kinds of input from new media, it could be speculated that new media that is endorsed by the peer group will have stronger effects during the adolescent years. Hormonal and other brainrelated changes during adolescence make this a time when all children question their identities and their “autobiographical selves”. New media can offer learning experiences relevant to resolving some of these questions, just like any other form of experience. A priori, new media do not seem likely to be less influential as a source of information, however, there is no relevant research that I am aware of..

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