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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Connected, dependent — and distracted

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Fortnite Mobile, a trendy free game, is distracting students and overloading schools’ wifi, reports Patricia Hernandez on Kotaku.

Students play compulsively, then share the results on social media, says teacher Nick Fisher. “When you mix in the fact that you have to Snapchat every ‘dub’ (win) you get or Snapchat your friends losing it merges two of the biggest distractions in school . . . I would say Snapchat is a bigger issue than games. But Fortnite marries the two of them into a monster.”

It’s the most popular game with primary, middle and high school students since Minecraft, writes Paul Tassi on Forbes.

Erika Sanzi’s three sons love the game. She likes it  — most of the time.

Students are obsessed with their phones, writes Larry D. Rosen on Kappan Online.

  1. Typically, college students . . . check their phones every 15 minutes — all day long (and sometimes all night) — and they look at them for about five minutes each time.

  2. Teenagers are almost always attempting to multitask, even when they know full well that they cannot do so effectively.

  3. When teenagers have their phones taken away, they become highly anxious (and visibly agitated within just a few minutes).

  4. The average adolescent or young adult finds it difficult to study for 15 minutes at a time; when forced to do so, they will spend at least five of those minutes in a state of distraction.

Smart phones can make college students less smart — even when they’re not using them, according to a newly published study titled Brain Drain.

Undergraduates were tested on working memory, reasoning and problem solving, and sustained attention. One third had their phone face down on the desk, another third had it in the testing room but not visible and the third left the phone outside the room.

Participants whose phones were in the other room scored significantly better on the working memory test than those whose phones were in their pockets or on their desks. And students with their phones on the desk performed significantly worse than their peers on tests measuring reasoning and problem solving. Indeed, the only measure not affected by phone location was sustained attention.

Students who were more dependent on their smartphones, based on a survey, showed  much larger differences in working memory scores based on phone location.

Here’s a new travel trend: Book a forest cabin, put your phones in a lockbox and embrace boredom.

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