Technology is an ever-increasing presence in our lives and continues to influence how we learn.
From playing mobile phone games, to researching on the web, to simply googling, we and our
children are constantly using electronic devices.
Though there are so many advantages to technology, there is good reason to encourage
learning without devices. Studies have shown that electronic devices can impair working
memory. Working memory is the “scratch pad” of our minds, allowing us to keep hold of
information long enough to organize and analyze it, making sense for our long-term memories.
But because technology allows us to access information in a matter of milliseconds, “use it or
lose it” comes into play, and our memories aren’t absorbed as they would be if we couldn’t rely
on a computer.
So why do children need working memory to succeed in school? When a child is given a math
problem, or posed a question about the reading, they need to be able to keep that information in
their head long enough to make sense of it and propose an answer. The part of the brain
responsible for working memory is also responsible for concentration. Working memory not only
holds information in a child’s head, but reminds them the steps they need to take to use this
information. Kids with poor working memory have trouble staying on task.
However, there are ways to help keep children’s working memory strong. Engaging them in
tasks without the use of electronic devices gives them the chance to exercise their memory. K-3
Climbers provides a perfect opportunity. Fun and educational activities are provided in each
monthly package, available in our store, which will send you and your child on your way to
building working memory every day!
photo by Brad Flickinger