How Has Technology Changed Our Behaviour?
Technology is advancing at a phenomenal pace and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. Through the various industries and markets, technology has helped today’s workforce work smarter. Not only are we working smarter as a global workforce, but we’re communicating more efficiently and we’re becoming more productive in our workflow. Technology has become an influential factor in our everyday lives. People simply can’t live without it. Today, it’s a rarity for someone to leave the house without their mobile phone. And if they did, you would see them quickly scurry home to collect it.
New-age technology has enabled us to communicate with people thousands of miles away through the simple click of a button. Who would have thought 30 years ago that we’d advance at the rate we have?
The average adult now spends over 20 hours online a week. People spend twice as much time online as they did 10 years ago. This change in behaviour is mainly down to the increase in people using tablets and smartphones. Some teens manage to spend up to 9 hours a day online.
What Effect Is New Technology Having On Our Brains?
There are two sides to every story and with new technology, there’s the good and the bad. Technology has eroded the social skills of many teenagers due to the influx of smartphones and tablets. Attention spans within teenagers are declining according to a study made by the University of Michigan. The study found a 40% decline among students in every definition of empathy among college students. This was compared with their counterparts 20 years previous, with the biggest decline coming after the year 2000. Leon Watson of The Telegraph went as far as to say that “even a goldfish can hold a thought longer”.
There are contrasting views regarding how technology is affecting our brains. Two neuroscientists Susan Greenfield and David Chalmers have different views on the matter. Chalmers believes that new technology making our lives easier thus becoming more productive;
“Technology is increasing our capacities and providing us with newly sophisticated ways of thinking,” He goes on to say ““In a way, it’s automating work we used to have to do for ourselves painstakingly. It’s taking stuff we had to do consciously and slowly and making it happen fast and automatically.”
Whereas Greenfield is a little wearier;
As a neuroscientist, I am very aware that the brain adapts to its environment,“If you’re placed in an environment that encourages, say, a short attention span, which doesn’t encourage empathy or interpersonal communication, which is partially addictive or compulsive… all these things will inevitably shape who you are. The digital world is an unprecedented one and it could be leaving an unprecedented mark on the brain.”
However, Sarah Briggs put it perfectly when saying it’s completely up to us how we accept these technological changes “Whether digital media is changing our brains for the better or the worse, it’s our choice to allow or deny that change”.
Edtech is Booming and It’s Only Getting Bigger
Educational technology is bigger than ever at present. With the help of educational technology, people can up-skill and become better qualified in their profession. It’s becoming more accessible and companies all over the world are starting to invest in learning solutions. Learning shouldn’t stop the day you graduate from university. It should be a continuous cycle. New tools are making on-the-job learning more exciting for both employees and employers.
Elearning platforms and micro-learning now cater for a wide range of online courses and training. It’s predicted that by 2019, 50% of all classes will be delivered online. Employers have taken more of an interest in measuring the success rates of their employee’s progress, studying data points that indicate positive movement. Videos are a popular feature on e-learning platforms, with bite-sized videos replacing old school methods of teaching. Workers have become more engaged over a longer period of time. This has made new concepts and information easier to digest.
Personalised learning and gamification will continue to grow in strength with the latter proving to be highly engaging for employees. Gamification also adds a competitive edge to the learning process. Workers will aim to complete certain tasks, obtain badges and then be rewarded for their efforts.
Leveraging this technology provides new and exciting opportunities to transform business goals and outcomes. Continual learning will help employees keep up-to-date the changing tech landscape, and will keep them engaged in their work.
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