Saturday, October 29, 2011

Images Fill Up Our Working Memory Faster Than Words Do

This was an unexpected thing I learned at the "Wisdom and the Liberal Arts" conference today.

The session was about why it is hard for people (students especially) to concentrate on deep ideas when they spend much of their day looking at moving images on a screen. There were several elements to this argument, but this was the one that struck me the most.

I spend hours a day looking at a screen. However, when I spend those hours reading words, I can learn more and longer than when I spend those hours watching moving images.

I think I will build an exercise into my next class: go a day without watching any moving images, and see what it does to your concentration and the depth of your understanding of what you read.

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