It used to be when we had a question, we would consult a book or a knowledgeable friend. That was before search engines and the internet. Now, if we’re looking to find out when the Magna Carta was signed, or the structure of an atom we consult with Google, Yahoo, or your favorite research database. Well, the good news is the internet isn’t making us dumber, it’s actually making us more intelligent!
According to a study by UCLA neuroscientist Gary Small being a web surfer “may actually engage a greater extent of neural circuitry.” This study is in comparison to a more traditional learning approach on paper. Online learners use virtual libraries, which are becoming more popular with brick and mortar schools, and various web platforms like podcasts and webcasts for their lectures and lessons. What’s interesting is a younger age group, early 20s to early 30s use keywords to search, and the older age groups will tend to scroll through search results instead of filtering the content for best results.
You’re training your brain to rely on technology for an answer, but it’s your professor who keeps the classes challenging. To find an original response your best bet is to do your research in the academic libraries. The online format is more convenient in terms of accessibility, you can get to class even if you’re out of town, but you’re also your biggest motivator to get your assignments in on time.
For more on why your brain loves learning online, checkout this great post from TNW Insider.
By: J. Mason