Smart study about modern study habits

Smart study about modern study habits

Modern life has created a problem for us as adults as we help our young people through the digital age. How do we navigate something like study with the distractions so prevalent nowadays?

The answer might surprise you. Less is more. In a recent article from Edutopia, the author has outlined 5 Research-backed study techniques, one of which is the idea that studying for less time can actually be more beneficial.

How, you might ask? It seems counterproductive until you look at the reasoning behind the statement. The author breaks down how effective the study time is with a simple formula: “work accomplished = intensity of focus x time spent.”

So based on this formula, if a student spends the night studying for a maths exam and also checks texts and social media, that would equate to a focus score of 3. Multiply this by 3 hours and you find that the work accomplished is a 9.

Another student simply focuses on studying for maths without distraction, this equates to a focus intensity of 10, if the student only studies for an hour, their work accomplished is a 10.

So the wasted time and effectiveness of our modern distractions leads us to unproductive lives. Perhaps this formula may be helpful for you to share with your children so that you can have a conversation about how effective they might be in less time.

Technology has certainly enabled us to be efficient multitaskers, however, when its a task that requires dedicated focus, we need to change some of our approaches. There are some other great practical study tips in this article that you might also find useful in assisting your child’s study habits – click here to find out more.

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Smart study about modern study habits

Smart study about modern study habits

Modern life has created a problem for us as adults as we help our young people through the digital age. How do we navigate something like study with the distractions so prevalent nowadays? The answer might surprise you. Less is more. In a recent article from Edutopia,...

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Tips to manage screen time

Tips to manage screen time

It seems like every time we turn around as parents we are told two conflicting things: 1. That our children need devices to complete their school work.2. That our children are spending too much time looking at screens. The truth is that our world is changing and being...

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Tips to manage screen time

Tips to manage screen time

It seems like every time we turn around as parents we are told two conflicting things: 
1. That our children need devices to complete their school work.
2. That our children are spending too much time looking at screens.

The truth is that our world is changing and being a child and student in 2019 looks very different from being a child and student last century.

I can be easy to focus solely on the clock when considering healthy boundaries for a family and their screen use. However, looking at screen time in the context of their overall health and wellbeing is probably more constructive. 

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner’s parents page offers these 7 tips to developing a healthy approach to a family’s screen time:

1: Be involved
Sharing screen time and online activities like gaming with your child helps you gauge the appropriateness of what they are doing and manage potential risks. It’s also a great way to start conversations with your child about their online experiences.

 

2: Work with your child to set boundaries for screen use
If you decide that setting screen time limits is right for you and your child, discuss these new rules with your child. Older children are more likely to cooperate if they have been part of the decisionmaking process. Colourful pictures or charts of daily limits and other important activities is a fun way to get younger children on board.

 

3: Be clear about the consequences of not switching off
Part of our role as parents is to set clear limitations and boundaries. The same applies to technology limitations so, being clear and consistent about the consequences for your child if they do not stick to these rules is paramount. The Raising Children Network provides some useful tools and advice.

 

4: Set device-free zones and times at home

Device-free zones can help you manage your family’s digital use. Here are some ideas for setting digital boundaries within your home:
• no devices in the bedroom for younger children
• all screens off in bedrooms after a certain time for older children
• all screens off at least one hour before planned bedtime
• all family members switch off at dinner time
• charge devices overnight in a place your child cannot access 

 

5: Ask your child to explain their screen use
Get your child in the habit of explaining why they want to be in front of a screen or online. It’s a great way to get them thinking about their own digital habits and balancing screen time with other activities.

 

6: Use tech tools to help manage access
There are robust products and device functions which allow you to see which apps are being used in your home and for how long. But try not to use these tools to secretly monitor your child. Instead, be open about the process and check the whole family’s usage, including your own. Start with Google Family Link for Android devices or parental controls and Screen Time for iPhone/iPad.

 

7: Lead by example
Your behaviour is one of the most effective ways to help your child develop a positive digital mindset. Show your child you can put down your device too.

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Smart study about modern study habits

Smart study about modern study habits

Modern life has created a problem for us as adults as we help our young people through the digital age. How do we navigate something like study with the distractions so prevalent nowadays? The answer might surprise you. Less is more. In a recent article from Edutopia,...

read more
Tips to manage screen time

Tips to manage screen time

It seems like every time we turn around as parents we are told two conflicting things: 1. That our children need devices to complete their school work.2. That our children are spending too much time looking at screens. The truth is that our world is changing and being...

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TED Talk: The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain

TED Talk: The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain

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Smart study about modern study habits

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Modern life has created a problem for us as adults as we help our young people through the digital age. How do we navigate something like study with the distractions so prevalent nowadays? The answer might surprise you. Less is more. In a recent article from Edutopia,...

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Tips to manage screen time

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Why your kids saying “I’m bored” is actually a good thing

Why your kids saying “I’m bored” is actually a good thing

“I’m bored!”
As parents, we have all heard it.
“But I’m bored!”
As parents, we probably all dread it.
I do too. At least, I used to.
Earlier this year, I was at a Creativity Summit sponsored by Griffith University and I heard something revolutionary. John Marsden, the acclaimed author of the Tomorrow Series, said (to a room full of academics, researchers and educators trying earnestly to increase the level of creativity in our classrooms) this:

“During my schooling, boredom was profoundly beneficial to me.

He was speaking as though boredom was where his stories had been born. That all of his creativity had come from moments of daydreaming and gazing out the window at nothing. This was intriguing to me. And then I saw this…

As the Spring holidays fast approach, there are two short weeks for our children to recharge and refresh their minds for the last school term of the year. Aside from sleeping well, allowing or even encouraging our children to be bored may be the best thing we can do for their minds. Dr Sandi Mann says this:

“Once you start daydreaming and allow your mind to really wander, you start thinking a little bit beyond the conscious, a little bit into the subconscious, which allows sort of different connections to take place. It’s really awesome, actually.”

With the prolific rise of screen use and particularly the trend of multiple screen use parallel to each other, Dr Daniel Levitin comments on the mental fatigue of multitasking and says:

“Every time you shift your attention from one thing to another, the brain has to engage a neurochemical switch that uses up nutrients in the brain to accomplish that. So if you’re attempting to multitask, you know, doing four or five things at once, you’re not actually doing four or five things at once, because the brain doesn’t work that way. Instead, you’re rapidly shifting from one thing to the next, depleting neural resources as you go.”

These holidays let’s let our children be bored for long enough to be truly creative. They may even surprise themselves…

If you have 15 minutes or so, here is the full TED talk that the above clip was taken from.
Manoush Zomorodi: How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas.

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Smart study about modern study habits

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Tips to manage screen time

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What eSmart behaviours are Australia’s parents talking to their kids about?

What eSmart behaviours are Australia’s parents talking to their kids about?

How would you like to see how other parents, across Australia, rate their experience of raising children in the digital age?

The Screen Smart Parent Tour is a great resource that allows parents to answer a series of questions about their children’s Internet use and then see the cumulative results of other families across the country. It also provides further information and advice on the topics addressed in the parent questions.

It is particularly focused on preteen to early teen parents, but has information useful if you have children of any age.

Parent TourThe Parent Tour is part of the iParent section of the eSafety Commission’s website – eSafety.gov.au.

Click here to access the tour.

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Smart study about modern study habits

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Modern life has created a problem for us as adults as we help our young people through the digital age. How do we navigate something like study with the distractions so prevalent nowadays? The answer might surprise you. Less is more. In a recent article from Edutopia,...

read more
Tips to manage screen time

Tips to manage screen time

It seems like every time we turn around as parents we are told two conflicting things: 1. That our children need devices to complete their school work.2. That our children are spending too much time looking at screens. The truth is that our world is changing and being...

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Helping your child to research online

Helping your child to research online

A while ago, I was assisting my son to do some research online. I would love to say he was cooperative, but that wasn’t quite how it played out. I asked him to show me the topic he was researching, in this case a biography.

I looked on the learning management system for the task scaffolding and my son simply had to look for what information was required for each paragraph and find the research. Simple enough I thought – not this time – in my case, my son didn’t want to look beyond webpage one, let alone actually read what was on the page.

So, what do we as parents of school students need to know about the research our kids do?

Research today is different – but the principles of research haven’t changed.

I remember an assignment that I did at university in my History of Theatre subject. It is a fond memory because I did so well at it and followed the research methodology better than I had with most other assignments.

Here’s what I did:

  1. I gathered about 10 books from the university library that either covered my subject in depth or had some vague reference to it.
  2. I opened each book, looked at the contents and index pages first and then bookmarked the relevant pages.
  3. I transcribed relevant notes and quotes into a notebook and wrote the reference details for each book at the top of the notes for each book.
  4. I looked through my notes and thought about the ideas and concepts I had noted then checked my task sheet to see how I should collate the notes together into the essay.
  5. I began writing my task and then adding quotes and so on into the body of my essay as I made my points.
  6. After writing a rough copy of my assignment – I typed it onto the computer and printed out my final copy for handing to my lecturer.

This methodology can be applied to the research our children do in a digital space. It does involve being organised and it doesn’t hurt to actually have them take notes on paper.

I believe that the process of writing out the information assisted me in recalling it later when I was constructing my essay. A copy and paste (unfortunately all too common) of a reference doesn’t help with recall or deeper processing of the information.

So, what would I do today if I had the incredible access to resources that my children have?

  1. Search specifically for my topic on a number of search engines (not just Google) using a select group of keywords from my task sheet
  2. Scan the links that are presented from the search engine for relevance – this may involve going further than page 1 of the search results
  3. Click the links to explore the content of the relevant web pages and identify the legitimacy of the article – if good, take some notes and reference the page with a reference generator.
  4. A useful tip for skimming documents is to use the “Find” function of your device (Command – F on the laptop and the share icon on an iPad). By using this feature you save yourself a lot of time if you are looking for a particular term in a document.
  5. At this point I would have created a document where I am collecting all my notes and references to make it easier when I compile the assignment. Some also use tools like Evernote or Apple’s Notes app which continues to become better each year.
  6. I would check the task sheet for how to format the information and what is required – perhaps even search for some tips online for constructing a great essay
  7. Begin typing in my own words and then adding the research and referencing it as I go
  8. Printing my assignment and then after reading it myself, handing it to someone to read it – I tell my students not to ask the proofreader, “Is it good?” but to ask the question “How do you think I need to improve?”
  9. Once I’ve had feedback I would then edit my assignment and then submit it via the online and offline methods instructed by my teacher

That’s generally how I would do it – if you would like further in-depth detail on research skills, have a look at this article from Lifewire – How Proper Online Research Works.

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Smart study about modern study habits

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Modern life has created a problem for us as adults as we help our young people through the digital age. How do we navigate something like study with the distractions so prevalent nowadays? The answer might surprise you. Less is more. In a recent article from Edutopia,...

read more
Tips to manage screen time

Tips to manage screen time

It seems like every time we turn around as parents we are told two conflicting things: 1. That our children need devices to complete their school work.2. That our children are spending too much time looking at screens. The truth is that our world is changing and being...

read more