Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Why Information Literacy instruction may not be taking hold

Dr. Richard Restak, in his book The New Brain: How the Modern Age Is Rewiring Your Mind, puts forth the argument that the brain works best when processing tasks serially, not by switching between tasks ("multitasking"). Multitasking reduces accuracy and efficiency, according to Restak. Restak's point of view is supported by research at the University of Michigan and Carnegie-Mellon. The Michigan study concluded that tasks performed simultaneously took 50% longer than if they had been performed sequentially.

So the next time you see people working on the computer while "cranking tunes," you may rightly wonder whether that well-crafted diatribe you issued on the intricacies of searching subscription databases really sunk in.

Driving? Maybe You Shouldn't Be Reading This, by Robin Marantz Henig, The New York Times, July 13, 2004