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Single and Multi-Tasking in School

            Let me ask you: what are your children doing while they are working on the homework assignment? Although the answer seems to be obvious "They are doing their homework!" the reality is that our children may also be surfing the net, checking their messages and listen to the music all at the same time. The image of a diligent student, who sits in the library with a stack of books completely soaked into the studying process remained somewhere in the past. Although the digital era has opened the information borders and has brought many positive changes in the world, it creates countless opportunities for distraction, the most worrisome of which is the habit-forming practice of multitasking. Doing just one thing at a time seems luxurious, even wasteful. Your children are growing up in a world in which so-called multitasking is a standard and even considered crucial for success. Many students boast they can write an essay, reply to the messages, talk to a friend and watch a show at the same moment, and I would deeply admire this talent, if this kind of "multitasking" was possible. The fact is that we cannot simultaneously do all these activities; we are actually switching from one task to another, not spending enough time to complete each one properly. This affects your children's grades, schoolwork, ability to focus and overall performance. .
             Real multitasking, or attending to several things at once is sometimes possible, such as cooking and listening to the radio, or eating while reading a newspaper, but these activities need to be either automatic with no focus required, or they should involve different types of brain processing. That is why, for example, classical music doesn't hinder reading comprehension, since these two activities engage different parts of the brain; meanwhile "the ability to retain information while reading and listening to music with lyrics declines significantly because both tasks activate the language center of the brain" (Taylor 3).

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