According to an article on CNN, recent study is showing that too much online time can actually change brain structure.
The study looked at college students who spent about 10 hours a day online in comparison to those who spent less than two hours a day. The study showed that the heavy Internet users actually had different brain structures in the “thinking” part of the brain.
Research says that the constant online stimulation can activate pleasure centres in the brain, and that the brain is wired to crave the instantaneous pleasures that online multitasking can give. But, the brain also needs the downtime—the slower pace of being offline—to process and rest.
Not so surprisingly, a surplus of online time didn’t just have cognitive implications— social ramifications of spending too much time online were observed, such as not being able to properly identify the emotions of people in stories.
While it can be difficult to cut back online time, the article offers tip to help heavy online multitaskers reduce their reliance on technology, which is important for parents and children alike. These guidelines can go a long way to helping establish Online Guidelines in your home that everyone can follow.
- Keep track of how many hours a day that you are online. Some studies show that students are online up to 7 hours a day! What websites do you visit? What takes up the most time?
- Set some time limits—balance is key. The article suggests no more than two hours online at a time.
- Train your brain to slow down. Stare out the window, and daydream. Pay attention to what your brain is thinking about. Try to focus on a single subject for a period of time. If you get off track, pull yourself back to the subject that you are supposed to be thinking about.
- Have offline time. Set a rule in your house to have offline time where everyone puts away the gadgets and powers down. Other studies show that being offline in the hours before bed can improve sleep.
- Get some exercise. Find an activity to do that takes you away from all electronics and gets your blood pumping.
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They’ve written tests and exams.
They’ve handed in countless projects and assignments.
They studied hours upon hours.
They’ve written and passed entrance exams.
They’ve applied to schools and have been accepted.
But, just how ready is your teen for College or University?
Well, according to the US-based Alliance for Excellent Education, about one-third of college freshmen need to take a catch up course in reading, math or English. Other sources say that number of teens who are unprepared is as high as 75%.
The US is not alone; Some 55% of Ontario professors think that first-year university students are not as prepared as they should be, and are lacking in critical thinking skills.
And many students themselves share similar sentiments, worrying about handling the increased workload and academic demands of university.
So, what can be done to ensure that teens are ready for higher education and will be able to avoid the first year drop out crises?
If necessary, take a victory lap to review key subjects. Or, consider taking a year off to renew school motivation. Better yet, contact Oxford Learning to take a course that develops top-notch study skills, teaches test-taking techniques, perfects time management abilities, and improves critical thinking abilities.
Contact your local Oxford Learning centre to find out more about our College and University Prep Courses.
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What’s the secret to helping your teen get better grades?
And, what’s the secret to getting him or her to be less sullen and moody?
The answer might surprise you. It’s the same answer to both questions: more sleep!
According to the Sleep Foundation, teens need between 8 ½ and 9 ¼ hours of sleep per night. They also, however, have biological difficulty falling asleep before 11 pm.
If teens need about 9 hours of sleep, and hit the sheets around 11 pm, that means that they should be waking up bright-eyed and ready to go around 8 am.
By the time that they have breakfast, and get ready for school, then leave for school, they should be right on time for their 10 am class, ready to learn!
Teen Biology + Early School Start Times = Lack Of Sleep And Poor Grades
Here’s the problem: most high school’s first classes begin between 8-9 am (some even earlier.)
This results in sleepy students. (Studies report that up to 20% of teens fall asleep in class on a regular basis.) And, as any parent of a teen can tell you, it also results in a severe case of the grumps.
It can also be linked to increase in teenage car accidents!
And not surprisingly, it results in poor grades.
One researcher says that sleep deprivation in teens is “three strikes against learning,” because 1) students aren’t alert enough to learn properly in class, 2) they aren’t mentally storing the information that they are learning correctly, and 3) they are not getting the sleep that they need in order to process learned information and transfer it to long-term memories.
That’s why some approximate 80 school districts across the USA are implementing later start times for highschoolers. The results of the later school start times are impressive:
• Less grumpiness
• Improvement in general health and nutrition
• Less falling asleep in class—about 20% less
• Less reported feelings of depression
• Less absenteeism
• Improved grades
What time does your teen’s high school start? Do you think it’s too early? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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What’s the best way to stay organized? School gives us a planner (well, we pay for it, but we get one) but nobody ever really teaches us how to use it. I write my assignments and homework in it, but I somehow still wind up finding it easy to miss an assignment or a test. I even have a little calendar on my phone too. There are calendars on my computer at home, and there is Google Calendar too. Even with all the calendars around I can sometimes find it tough to stay on top of school work, and I end up working all weekend on a project.
Lately I have started digging into projects right away instead of waiting. I find that this way, the project stays on my mind, and I can work away at it over a week or two. I can polish it and improve on it as I go, and I have more time and don’t worry about missing any deadlines. The same goes for studying. If I review my notes each day for even a few minutes I don’t have as much trouble reviewing when it’s time for a test. And, I don’t need to rely on my agenda to remind me.
About me: I go to South Secondary School in London, ON and I have two younger siblings. I have always been a movie guy. But movies aren’t the only thing I enjoy. In the summer I love to bike with my friends down to the Thames River and ride along the trails. The sights and the entire ride are always beautiful. Anyway, hopefully you’ll enjoy my posts! Remember to leave feedback and comments at the bottom! – Dylan.
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