Did you know that the Internet is making you dumber? That's right. Previous reports have indicated that we spend too much time surfing the web on the PC, Mac, smartphone and video game console, vegetating in front of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other "mind-numbing" places. Forget the fact that the Internet is becoming the main source of news, entertainment, and education. Apparently the Internet is making us stupid regardless... that is, unless we're using an iPad.
So what's so special about this device? It's not that the iPad is an Apple device--it's because the iPad is a hands-on experience. The same is true for iPhone, the iPod Touch, and many Android smartphones. Scientists believe that this type of interaction is less likely to erode our minds, that it's better suited for the way our brains are wired. There's even speculation that hands-on interaction could actually make you smarter!
"The interface of [the] iPad could work well for us," said Muhammet Demirbilek, an assistant professor of educational technology at Suleyman Demirel University. "We use our hands instead of a keyboard or mouse, and it fits exactly how we behave and think in real life. In addition, the iPad interface looks easier for us, because it has larger-size text and bigger icons. It is less likely to cause cognitive overload to the user, based on my studies."
Devices such as the iPad and iPhone use "clean interfaces." As Demirbilek suggested, current, traditional computing environments found in Windows 7 and Mac OS X are conductive to "shallow learning" because they use an overlapping-windows interface. Because the interfaces are so disorienting, information is lost between short-term memory and long-term memory. However clean interfaces allow the user to focus on the relevant subject. The main drawback to a single-window experience is that users can't draw information from multiple sources.
To read the full report, head here.