By Lily Haeberle, Nika Seider, and Madison Waechter
Research Question: How do educational technologies affect attention span?
As technology gains a more prevalent role in the classroom, the influence on students appears to
be ambivalent and complicated, having both positive and negative outcomes. Student’s brains are being
rewired to think and learn differently and develop progressive new skills, a positive outcome. On the
contrary, the ability to hold attention has diminished to only 8 seconds- shorter than that of a goldfish’s
attention span (Microsoft, 2015).
Because of the many technological advances being made in the modern era, the use of technology
has rapidly increased. The amount of digital technology, such as computers, interactive whiteboards (such
as Promethean boards) and iPads, in the classroom has skyrocketed. Outside of the classroom, many
students are used to constant use of their phone and computer in their personal lives, resulting in nonstop
screen time for students. New high-tech innovations are seemingly materialized almost every other
month, and schools are not hesitating to integrate new technological developments into their classrooms.
The rush to incorporate new technology is an attempt to adapt to the current millennials use of
technology, as they have become dependent on it in all other aspects of life. Having technology in the
classroom that is not only innovative, but also advantageous, it is an essential part of a student’s
education; it is unfitting and a waste if the effects of using the technology prove to be negative. One
purpose of this study is to understand the positive and negative uses of technology in the classroom to
determine if a classroom is more beneficial with or without technological devices.
Technology has shaped the so-called “Net Generation” to learn with a different mental approach,
thus another goal of this study is to find out how this heavily relied on technology in the classroom is
affecting student’s newfound abilities and learning styles in the classroom. Research has found that
student’s decreased attention span has lead to a distinct difference of learning. Students today tend to
show the need for more interactivity, exploration, and independence with their assignments. This new
learning method has created a need for more comprehensive and dynamic ways of teaching, in order to
adapt to student’s needs. Students are not benefitting from traditional methods of teaching, creating a
problem for the school system. Teachers are pressed to find new effective teaching styles in response to
the needs of students, an ordeal that is not only stressful and complex, but may also be costly, as the price
of technology is high. By understanding this change in learning styles, teachers will not only be able to
find out how they can effectively teach their students, but also discover what technology is doing to their
mental abilities in school (Barnes et al, 2007).
Any student who utilizes technology in their education will be affected by their use, whether
negatively or positively, and should be interested in the effects technology has shown to have. Millennials
should have a basic understanding on how devices they use everyday can affect their mentality and brain
neurons. Having an understanding of these effects is especially important in this study, as students are the
subjects. A young student’s mind is not yet fully developed and is easily susceptible to being altered by
constant use of technology. Students, as well as their parents, should be aware of the effects of heavy
technology integration in education.
This research can be used to figure out how to manage and respond to the effects technology has
on the human brain. Once research can explain what the effects are and the impact they will have on the
person, the effects can then be catered to, and an attempt at changing negative effects can be made. As
there is no way to stop the accelerating technological advancements of the future, research on technology
must consistently be up to date in order to understand the effects of the current technologies. As more
information on the effects of technology on the brain is discovered, educators and developers can learn

how to integrate the technologies in the classroom so that the students get the best instruction possible and
are aware of the effects technology has on them.
The increasing demand of technology from students will not stop, as they are dependent on
technologies in and out of the classroom. The effects of this will only continue to develop and grow
bigger as this millennial age progresses, which is why it is so important to understand them.

The Millennials and Technology
The use of technology in everyday life has grown alongside the Millennials. This generation of
young adults are the ones most directly affected by society’s dependence on technology, as they have
grown up with digital resources becoming more and more prevalent and are susceptible to the effects of a
diminishing attention span. Richard Sweeney, University Librarian at the New Jersey Institute of
Technology, reflects upon this generation in his study “Millennial Behaviors and Demographics.” This
Net Generation is comprised of the individuals born between 1979 and 1994, (the exact years of birth of
Millennials differs slightly depending upon the the demographers, some use 1982 as the start of this
generation). Sweeney explains that Millennial students are a group of exploratory learners, meaning they
benefit most from doing things for themselves. These students have been found to be more engaged
through active learning and effective experimental processes, such as games, case studies, hands-on
experiences and simulations that can hold and maintain their interest over a period of time. Another point
that Sweeney makes in his study is that as a whole, the Millennial generation is increasingly tech-savvy
and they expect that digital resources will always be readily available to them. As explained by Sweeney,
“Millennials clearly adapt faster to computer and internet services because they have always had them.
While they still clearly want and expect teachers in a face-to-face environment, they expect the speed,
convenience, flexibility and power provided by digitally provided services and resources,” (Sweeney,
2006). Millennials’ access to technology, as found in Kassandra Barnes, Raymond Marateo and S. Pixy
Ferris’ study “Teaching and Learning with the Net Generation,” has played a large role in the
development of Millennial student’s specific learning styles, which has led them to bore easily with more
traditional methods of learning, like lectures. Matt Richtel, author of “Growing Up Digital, Wired for
Distraction,” came to the conclusion in his research that students of the Millennial generation are more
interested in classes that use technology which apply to real world scenarios (Richtel, 2010). In order to
meet these needs and expectations, educators have started incorporating technology more and more into
the classroom in a variety of ways.
Millennials are utilizing technologies, such as the Internet, leading to changes in their process of
completing schoolwork. The way in which Millennials use technology for school is reflected upon in the
piece of literature, “How Teens do Research in the Digital World” by Kristen Purcell and Lee Rainee.
This source is an analysis of research conducted by the Pew Research Center in which more than 2,000
middle and high school teachers from the Advanced Placement and National Writing communities
participate in a survey. The study analyzed the manner in which technology shapes the research habits of
students. The results found that students of the Millennial generation have become overly reliable on
Internet search engines in obtaining information. One of the teachers in this study said that, for the
students, “research = Googling,” (Purcell and Rainee, 2012). As a result of new technologies, research has
become a short, fast-paced activity in order to complete the bare minimum.
To see the impact of this increasing reliability and use of technology on Millennials, researchers
Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie conducted a survey in their 2012 research entitled “Millennials Will
Benefit and Suffer Due to Their Hyperconnected Lives.” In this study, they asked both technology
stakeholders and critics to state whether they agree or disagree with quotes about the use of technology.
Their research revealed that by the year 2020, the effects of hyperconnectivity and the “always-on”
lifestyles of young people will be mostly positive, like that of easy access to people and information.
However, experts also predict that this generation will exhibit a thirst for instant gratification and quick
fixes, a lack in the ability to think critically, and a loss in patience. Another point made in Anderson and
Rainie’s research is that the short attention spans resulting from constant quick interactions will be
detrimental for Millennials to focus on more complex problems, and that there may be a trend of

unproductivity among those affected in areas such as technology and literature. These impacts, like that of
a diminishing attention span, must be understood in order to shape the process of learning and education
for future generations to come.
Technology can be a learning tool, but it can also be a distraction. Constant use of technology
impacts the brain and makes concentrating and focusing on one task difficult, and this epidemic is not
slowing down. According to a San Diego Supercomputer Center researcher, Jan Zverina, the U.S.’s media
consumption will be at 15.5 hours per person, per media day by 2015. A media day is defined as the total
hours of media consumed, both directly and indirectly through background streaming, thus it can exceed
24 hours. This trend will not cease either, Zverina said, “As we increase the number of simultaneous
media streams going into the home, and we increase our multi-tasking behaviors, a lot of content assumes
the role of background or secondary content stream… we have to expect that total hours will grow,”
(Zverina, 2013). In Richtel’s “Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction” the student in which he
shadowed, Vishal Singh, said, “If it weren’t for the Internet, I’d focus more on school, and be doing better
academically,” (Richtel, 2010). Growing up with this easy access to information via the internet has
shaped this generation to expect immediate answers which ultimately has lead to an overall decreased
patience level, as found in Barnes, Marateo and Ferris’ study. It is imperative that Millennial’s
technological needs and dependencies are understood and beneficially incorporated into classrooms so
that they can succeed academically and pave the way for the future Net generations.

Technology’s Effects on Attention Span
Direct Effects on the Brain
The majority of the problems that stem from increased use of technology can be linked to a direct
neurological effect on the brain. Andi Horvath, a PhD in Medical Biology, reported on technology’s effect
on attention span in, “How Does Technology Affect Our Brains?” and delved into how exactly technology
is playing a role in the brain’s development. Higher activity in the prefrontal cortex proves that the brain
is affected by frequent use of technology (Horvath, 2015). Nova University’s psychology Professor Jim
Taylor reported on similar research to Horvath’s. He found that constant technology use is changing the
way brains are wired. It can cause the brain to lose the ability to be imaginative, retain information, and
pay attention for long periods of time. As children are increasingly spending more time watching
television than they are reading, they are being exposed to constant distractions and fast moving images
that make it nearly impossible for them to hold their attention for long periods of time (Taylor, 2012).
This early exposure to television directly links to risks of attentional problems in the future. Professor
Elizabeth Vandewater at the University of Texas-Austin and researcher Marie Evans Schmidt from
Children’s Hospital in Boston conducted a review named “Media and Attention, Cognition, and School
Achievement,” on studies that examined the effects of long hours of television viewing on a child’s
attention span. The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is a method used to identify problem areas in a
child’s behavior. It was used on second and third grade children to see if their hours spent watching
television had an effect on their performance on attention problems (problems used to test a child’s
attention span). It was found that children who watched less than two hours per day scored lower on the
attention problem subscale of the CBCL than the children who watched two or more hours a day (Schmidt
and Vandewater, 2008). This correlation between television viewing and attention span relates to what
Horvath found, the direct impact of technology on the brain. As a child, the brain is only just beginning to
develop and it is extremely susceptible to being influenced by a multitude of factors. If television or other
electronic mediums are a constant in the child’s life, they will experience the effects of a decreased
attention span and weak memory because their brains have been wired differently from the start--as
opposed to the brains of their parents or grandparents whose prefrontal cortex were not molded by
advanced technology.
Another form of electronic media that shapes the Millennials brains is the Internet. Now that
there is constant and immediate access to the world wide web of information, the newest generations are
becoming more skilled at knowing where to find information rather than knowing how to retain
information (Taylor, 2012). Purcell and Rainee touch upon this subject as well, finding that with the

Internet comes a new definition of the word ‘research’. They found that for students, “doing research has
shifted from a relatively slow process of intellectual curiosity and discovery to a fast-paced, short-term
exercise aimed at locating just enough information to complete an assignment” (Purcell and Rainee,
2012). And while knowing how to quickly access information is helpful, there may not always be a
Google search available, like when taking a test.
Another negative effect that technology has on the brain is its decreased ability to conserve
energy. Researcher Michael Rich, M.D. of Harvard Medical School, conducted an experiment that
measured the amount of energy the brain used while performing a task and how much was used at rest.
The study shows that the brain uses the same about of energy while performing a task as it does while at
rest. These findings reveal that an adolescent’s brain is so heavily wired by technology that it is constantly
active and will not properly shut down while at rest in order to conserve energy like it should. Dr. Rich
found that, “downtime is to the brain what sleep is to the body” and that students’ brains are in a constant
mode of stimulation (Richtel, 2010). Journalist Cara Feinberg states in the piece “The Mediatrician,” that
always being active is detrimental to proper brain development as resting periods are important for
learning how to create new connections, synthesize information, and forge a sense of self (Feinberg,
Although technology has proven to have negative effects on the brain, it also has the ability to
strengthen useful and positive skills. Such abilities include decision making and the ability to skim
information rapidly but effectively. Developing these skills supports students in school as well as later on
in life, but it does not make up for the loss that occurs when children’s brains are wired differently than
normal by constant use of technology. However, the brain never stops developing, even into adulthood.
The brain is trained to rewire itself depending on the environment in which it is surrounded (Horvath,
2015). Therefore, it is possible for a technology user to re-wire their brain away from technology as they
grow older and then regain certain skills that they may have lost.
Effects on Academic Achievement
The neurological effects of outside technology (technology not used in school) on the brain have
translated into the classroom. Studies have shown both positive and negatives outcomes from electronic
media use among children and their academic accomplishments. Some video games have proven to
improve visual attention skills, teach quicker attention deployment and faster processing. These video
games create a challenge that requires players to develop and use certain skills in order to master the
game. Video games can also improve problem solving skills. This is learned through interactive
situations, which are experienced in video games. A child is confronted with a problem on how to defeat
the game and they must use their decision making skills and quick attention deployment skills to succeed.
Whether this benefit of electronic media will stay with the child long term is all dependant on whether or
not they have the ability to apply these problem solving skills in new and more complex situations
(Schmidt and Vandewater, 2008). Children would have an opportunity to apply these skills to everyday
challenges in the classroom and outside of it, therefore building upon their skills and developing them
further so that they can benefit from them in the long run. There is however, a limit to how much video
games can benefit one’s academic performance. In “Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction,” Richtel
interviewed Silicon Valley student Sean McMullen whose favorite pastime is playing video games.
Richtel found that McMullen played an average of 36 hours of video games per week. McMullen found
his gaming habit to be pulling his GPA down to below a 3.2, strong evidence that excessive media usage
hurts academic performance. Richtel also found that playing video games hurt students’ memory more
than watching television does. In one study discussed by Richtel, researchers observed brainwave patterns
while subjects were asleep and found that the students had a harder time remembering vocabulary words
when they played video games all night than when they had watched television (Richtel, 2010). Though
technologies are being used outside of the classroom, they show negative effects in the classroom,
whether or not the media had a correlation with the classroom material.
When children view and absorb media, it is the content that matters most when measuring
academic achievement. Empirical evidence has shown that educational programs on television or the

Internet have “positive benefits for children’s academic skills, academic engagement, and attitudes
towards learning” (Schmidt and Vandewater, 2008). So if a program’s content is informative and
engaging, students are more likely to succeed educationally and be willing to participate in lessons that
apply to what they have learned from the program. Professors Frederick Zimmerman at the UCLA
Fielding School of Public Health and Professor Dimitri Christakis at the University of Washington School
of Medicine in Seattle, conducted a study and found that high doses of entertainment television led to
attention problems in the future, while educational television was not associated with subsequent attention
problems (Schmidt and Vandewater, 2008). If the content is understandable and educational while being
engaging, the viewer will pay attention and retain the information so that they can then use it in the
classroom and later on in life. If the content is solely meant for entertainment purposes, the viewer could
get bored and lose interest, therefore moving their attention onto something else which can also lead to
attention problems.
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is diagnosed with the symptoms of
“inattention, hyperactivity or impulsivity that significantly impairs social or academic functioning”
(Schmidt and Vandewater, 2008). 11% of people aged 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD at some
point in their life (Key Findings, 2011). These issues inhibit the ability of a student to perform well in
school as it is hard for them to pay attention and listen to instruction when a variety of other things could
be happening at the same time as the classroom is a complex and diverse environment. One of those
inhibitors could very well be the technology that is provided in the classroom or technology that belongs
to the student themselves. Technology use has shown to have a direct correlation with increased risk of
ADHD. The chances of developing ADHD rise with the age of a child who is exposed to television from
an early age. Psychologist Aric Sigman wrote a review of research called, “The Biological Impact of
Watching TV” in which he found that for every hour of television watched per day, there is a 9% increase
of attentional problems (Sigman, 2007). A connection between technology and ADHD also includes the
fact that children with ADHD are two times more likely to have a television in their room, granting them
greater access to television which hinders their attention span even more. (Schmidt and Vandewater,
Technology that is used at home is also a large factor that plays a negative role in student’s
academic achievement. In “Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction,” Richtel speaks about Jacob L.
Vigdor, a professor at Duke University who led research on students use of technology at home. He found
that when adults were not supervising computer use, children would easily get distracted and not dedicate
all of their time to homework. Students are not able to absorb the information as well as they could if they
were focusing on one task at a time. One student named Allison Miller, who lives in Silicon Valley, says
that she can get so caught up texting and surfing the web while attempting to do homework that she will
forget to complete her work (Richtel, 2010). The Kaiser Family Foundation found that students aged 8 to
18 use the Internet or watch television 31% of the time that they are doing their homework (Richtel,
2010). This is a form of multitasking that greatly impacts student performance in school, because if they
are not completing their homework then they will not be fully prepared for tests and other material that
they need to learn in order to achieve.
The Effects of Technology Use in the Classroom
In the world of technology, multitasking has developed as a skill that some pride themselves on.
In the classroom however, multitasking with technology is damaging to academic success. Multiple
experiments have proven that the use of digital technologies in a classroom, when used for noneducational purposes, can be harmful to classroom performance. Researchers Eileen Wood, Lucia
Zivcakova, Petrice Gentile, Karin Archer, Domenica De Pasquale and Amanda Nosko conducted an
extensive article, “Examining the impact of off-task multi-tasking with technology on real-time classroom
learning,” on how digital technology use in the classroom is detrimental to educational performance.
Digital technologies consist of laptops, cell phones, tablets and most other technologies that have access
to the Internet. The Cognitive Bottleneck Theory states that when two cognitive tasks are being performed
at the same time, there are decrements in at least one of the tasks (Wood et al., 2012). When a student uses

their phone or their laptop during class, they automatically disconnect from the lesson because naturally,
following the Cognitive Bottleneck Theory, the task that suffered from a decrement in performance was
the task of listening to the lesson. It can be inferred that paying attention to the lesson was the task that
suffered, because if the student’s top priority was to listen to the lesson, they would not have picked up
their phone or laptop. These results support Schmidt and Vandewater’s research that content must be
engaging and stimulating in order to teach new material to students in this digital age. If the content of a
lesson is dull and uninteresting, it is the natural reaction for students to turn to their technology to engage
in something more appealing. Purcell and Rainee also found that there is a rising concern among teachers
about students distracted use of digital technologies. When in class and conducting research online, many
distractions are presented, which can prevent students from fully focusing on the task at hand. Teachers
have met in focus groups to discuss their concerns that students are involving themselves in other
activities along with their assigned class work, such as social networking sites, watching online videos,
and playing online games (Purcell and Rainee, 2012). These multitasking activities performed during
class time can be so distracting that student’s lose the time set aside for the assigned activity, therefore
diminishing their academic success. Relating to Taylor’s research on students who now know where to
find information rather than know how to remember information is Purcell and Rainee’s research saying
that students have been found to set an insufficient amount of time aside for doing research because they
believe that the Internet will supply them with the information quickly (Purcell and Rainee, 2012).
When a single digital technology is used to do off task work in the classroom, a slippery slope
follows. With one technology, the student will be inclined to use another, therefore going even more off
task and becoming even more distracted and less engaged in the lesson (Wood et al., 2012). Trying to find
a balance between using technology and listening to a lesson does not allow the students to fully engage
with what is being taught and therefore they can’t understand the material well enough to apply it to real
situations. Researcher Eileen Wood and her coworkers from Wilfrid Laurier University conducted an
experiment with 145 college students. This experiment was done to test the effects on off task technology
use during a college lecture. The students were broken up into groups that were assigned a different
technology, ie; Facebook, texting, Word Processing, email, and finally paper and pencil. These groups
then had to sit in a lecture room where they had take notes for a quiz afterwards. The students could do
whatever they wanted with the technology they were assigned. The researchers found that the students
who chose to not use their technologies scored higher on the quiz than the students who did use their
technologies. Also, students in the Facebook group scored lower than students in the paper and pencil
group (Wood et al., 2012). This is quantitative evidence that multitasking with digital technologies in the
classroom has a negative effect on student performance and that it is something that should not be
occurring in an environment that is meant for learning. In order for students to prosper academically,
teachers must incorporate technology into lessons to captivate and engage the tech-savvy Millennials as
they will continue to rely on and multitask with technology.

Moving Forward with Technology
As technology becomes more prevalent in everyday life for millions of people, avoiding constant
use is nearly impossible to do. While people are beginning to realize the impact technology has or will
have on our brain, the effects have already taken place. Society as a whole cannot return to a life without
technology, and because of this, people will be forced to adapt to the hazards of technology, and learn to
take precautions when dealing with technology. According to the research found, there are a variety of
ways to deal and adapt to change without falling to adversity.
Technology integration in school is inevitable, and many schools have already incorporated
technology such as Promethean Boards, computers, Wifi, iPads, and more, into every classroom. Even as
teachers and parents express their uncertainty about students’ “digital diets”, they are still increasing
efforts to use technology in the classroom, to connect students and give them essential skills (Richtel,
2010). This leads educators who use these technologies in a state of perplexity, how does the classroom
continue to integrate technology to keep up with a fast paced and technical world, yet at the same time
avoid the negative consequences technology may have on the students work ethics, attention span, etc.?

Educators are encouraged to find a happy medium, yet solutions to find this balance are often not
recognized or implemented.
As psychology and technology professors Randall Davies and Richard West describe in their
book, “Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology”, in order for technology
integration to have a positive outcome, schools must require teachers to have a full and detailed
understanding of the technology that they are letting their students use. Skill-development and practicing
in a collaborative environment is essential to a complete understanding. Practices modeled by blogs and
other forms of Internet communication such as video-based self-assessment, electronic portfolios, and
individual response systems, can be used to help educators practice and develop these skills. Another
solution may be the possibility of more interaction among teachers, to improve professional
developmental outcomes, such as discussions and social networking that can provide reflection and
improve self-efficacy (Davies and West, 2013).
Teachers must be committed and willing to integrate technology in the classroom, without this
aspect of integration, there is a lack of enthusiasm on behalf of students that can lead to misuse of the
technology due to the absence of care and concern. Changing a teacher’s ideas and attitudes on
educational technology not only educates the teacher on why they should use technology, but also
engages them and further encourages use of technology. Having positive teacher attitudes not only
increases technology use but is an important and necessary step towards increasing effective technology
integration (Davies and West, 2013).
Marc Prensky, an internationally acclaimed speaker and writer, wrote in, “How to Teach with
Technology: Both Teachers and Students Comfortable in an Era of Exponential Change” that as
technology is integrated into the classroom, benefits can only arise when teachers and students work
together and mutually decide on how to incorporate their technology into their education. When teachers
have a complex understanding of the technologies they use, they can relay their knowledge to their
students to explain what the technology does, how to use it, and how it can be productive for using on
assignments. Working together can also provide an evaluation criteria and a deeper understanding of what
the student needs to improve on based off of the teacher’s assessment (Prensky, 2007).
At one high school in Silicon Valley in California, the principal, David Reilly, is determined to
engage students with familiarity through social media. He asked his teachers to build websites to
communicate with students, as well as introduced classes based around using digital tools to record
music, secured funding for iPads to teach Mandarin, and acquired $3 million in grants for a new
multimedia center (Richtel, 2010). Reilly is an example of an educator that has taken a strong initiative to
improve class relations between teachers and students while integrating the right tools and technologies to
execute and engage these positive relations.
As time progresses, student’s needs will change based on the generation they grew up in. Firstgeneration tech usually causes what is known as “net negative” social effects, second-generation “net
neutral”, and third generation is “net positive.” The first generation of students may find technology in the
classroom a foreign idea, the second generation may be impartial on the matter, while the third generation
will be so accustomed to technology that its effects will be mostly all positive. By the third generation, the
technology is expected to have such an advanced interface that it begins to reinforce good behaviors and
effects of technology will be positive (Anderson and Rainie, 2012). Teachers must adapt to these changes
by updating their own skills according to how advanced their technology is and who they are teaching.
Technology has the potential to be a key aspect of a student’s everyday scholarly life, and has
been on an upward trend in the classroom. Students and teachers need to work together to reap the full
benefits technology has to offer, as well as share the same enthusiasm for technology.

The thought of starting this three-month project was daunting for a number of students, including
our group. Writing a literature review can be a confusing process, especially in the beginning, and for
many the only way to get better is to practice. As a whole, our group progressively got better at writing
literature reviews, and eventually understood how to review an article efficiently and properly. Finding

sources for literature reviews was not as hard as we initially anticipated. Our topic, as it turns out, is a
subject matter that many people are concerned about. Decreases in attention span relating to technology is
a relatively new idea, and there are many current studies trying to decipher their connection while
analyzing what it means for the future. When we began researching our topic, we were not sure if our
research question would remain the same, or take another route. To determine the path of our project, we
continued research and eventually chose to direct the question to a theme that was more relatable to us as
students; technology in school and its effect on attention span.
A critical flaw in our project was not changing our question soon enough. We decided to edit our
question by the 4th literature review, so this change in direction impacted the amount of information we
were able to complete literature reviews on. Because our question shifted, we also had to make
connections based on our literature reviews from the original question to literature reviews on the new
question. Although both focused on attention span and technology, the original question pertained to a
more general overview, while the revised question was more narrowed and specific to Millennial students
and school. Luckily, our group had already found research that pertained to Millennials and students, but
it was still a setback information wise. Making connections between topics, such as how technology in
school directly relates to attention span, was a progression that required detailed analyzing of each source.
We had to use our own evaluations to determine how the article related to what we wanted to find out, if it
was not explicit or obvious. An example of using our own analytical skills rather than explicit connections
was in Madison’s mini Literature review #3, “In Search of an Attention Span,” by Harlan Loeb, the article
did not mention the effect pertaining to students and education, but instead he wrote about the global
effect as a whole. In order to relate this article back to our research question, we had to use this article as
an overview of our topic, and related it to what we had learned from other literature reviews that were
more specific. Most of the other literature reviews had direct connections to all aspects of our question,
and we had no problems analyzing them, so for us this was a challenge. Another small flaw that we had
room to improve in was the scientific aspect of our research. We had the opportunity to research more on
what activity goes on in our brain and how attention span works, but we only managed to cover part of
this aspect. However, although it is interesting information, we are unsure if more information would
have been useful to our project.
We feel that our group as a whole developed important skills during this project. The ability to
extensively research a topic and make connections will be extremely beneficial in both our academic and
personal lives.

Works Cited
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Lives." Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech RSS. Pew Research Center, 28 Feb. 2012.
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Barnes, Kassandra, Raymond Marateo, and S. Pixy Ferris. “Teaching and Learning with the Net
Generation” April/May 2007. Innovate: Journal of Online Education. Volume 3, Issue 4, pp. 1-8.
Davies, Randall and Richard E. West. “Technology Integration in Schools” January 2013. Handbook of
Research on Educational Communications and Technology. 4 Edition, pp. 1-37.
Feinberg, Cara. "The Mediatrician." Harvard Magazine. Harvard Magazine Inc., 18 Oct. 2011.
Horvath, Andi. "How Does Technology Affect Our Brains?" June 2015. The Age. Fairfax Media. Web.

"Key Findings: Trends in the Parent-Report of Health Care Provider-Diagnosis and Medication Treatment
for ADHD: United States, 2003—2011." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Dec. 2014. Web. 10 Jan. 2016.
Loeb, Harlan. "In Search of an Attention Span." Editorial. The Huffington Post.,
7 Oct. 2015. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.
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