Studying (& parenting) with social media

A pediatrician who follows social-media research! How cool is that?! Concerning the effects on young people of large amounts of time in and multitasking with digital media, parent Perri Klass, M.D., cites researchers as saying that, basically, the jury’s still out. She refers to pediatrics professor Dimitri Christakis at the University of Washington saying that young people may have some advantages in the new-media space because they’re coming of age in it. “So I decided to test my digital-immigrant biases,” Klass writes in the New York Times, “which tell me that no one can study effectively while watching, listening, surfing, messaging, against my professional experience, which tells me that medical students who don’t study effectively can’t learn the huge and complex body of material they have to master, and will therefore not pass their frequent tests.” She asked her medical-student son and classmates about their study habits. Definitely read the piece to find out what she learned – and there’s some great advice, too, from a psychologist she talked to, for parents worried about their kids’ “terrible” study habits. Because we all, as a society, have so much to learn about the effects of growing up online, I wish all pediatricians could be as informed and open-minded about social media. They could help parents calmly apply the good parenting sense they already have and stay a little open-minded too. That, in turn, will keep parent-child communication lines open, one of the best Internet protections around. [And BTW, there are some things we do know from the research, at least about *informal* learning in social media (we put those in “Online Safety 3.0.”]

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