Myths of multi-tasking

Last week I attended a Learning & the Brain conference and a Neuro-education summit, and I’m still processing all I heard. Two things stood out:

We’re not so much multitaskers — Try this out loud:

1. As fast as you can, say out loud the numbers 1 through 10.

2. As fast as you can, say the letters of the alphabet A to J.

3. Now, as fast as you can, alternate the numbers and letters: 1-A, 2-B, etc.

If we were true multitaskers, Case 3 would take us exactly the same time as Case 1 plus Case 2. For most of us in the audience, it took far longer. Why? Read my post at Dana Foundation’s blog.

Oh, to have gotten to do this in middle school — Harvard researchers are building virtual environments to help teach ecology (as well as “enhancements” for when you’re actually out on the bog). More about this, also on the Dana blog (and be sure to click on the videos; we couldn’t embed them but they really show the story).

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