Older News  » Teens, homework and multi-tasking

Last updated 1:51 PM on 5 March 2012

Can kids really do their homework and multi-task?

Parents around the world are divided on this. Half watch their teenagers sitting among a pile of books, ear buds in, computer on, TV humming in the background and think, "I wish I could multi-task like that".

The others stride across the room, pull the plug on the distractions, and ask the age-old question: "How can you study with that on?"

Somewhere along the line we seemed to have absorbed the idea that teenagers can multi-task perfectly because they're digital natives. Perhaps we read it somewhere or heard it on the TV – can't have been paying full attention though because no-one's really sure where it came from. (Perhaps we were multi-tasking at the time – and that's a big clue where this is going.)

Can kids multi-task? Absolutely. Will the results be the same as if they were fully focused on their study? Maybe not.

Key points

  • Teenagers might be regularly multi-tasking, but that doesn't mean they are performing the tasks to the best of their ability.
  • Research has shown that multi-tasking reduces focus.
  • Dedicated study time without distractions produces better learning.
  • Multi-tasking is an unavoidable part of life, but it's best if teenagers don't try to do it while studying.

Read the full article on the School A to Z website.