Do school students suffer from information overload? They certainly do. But is not the scope of getting exposed to data very limited? Well, not anymore. With the increasing influence of technology in education, students are no longer bounded to textbooks as the only source of reading material. the best boarding school in India are also including technology in various forms to help students reap the benefits that it brings to academics. Although present students are smarter than their previous generation, it does not mean that they have an endless potential to learn and retain information. The human mind can still consume only so much and the availability of information out there is much more.
Causes of information overload in school students
One, the variety of resources that they currently have at their disposal. Owing to easy accessibility to the internet, school students can not only learn a subject from the lecture or the textbook but can also access a website or YouTube video to achieve a similar outcome. And not that accessibility is necessarily counterproductive but the rush to learn it from everywhere certainly is. Partly due to peer pressure, students are increasingly feeling the need to learn the same topic from multiple sources, consequently overloading themselves with information. Where the class lecture is sufficient, the YouTube video can be skipped.
Two, the internet has also brought other information just beyond the touch of a finger for which we had to previously wait. For instance, a student can follow a sports event live over the internet. News also travels as soon as they happen. In such an ambiance where a website is flooded with multiple headlines beside the main one, the students’ minds continuously pick up information unconsciously while researching or studying. They stay in the mind, add to the information pool and lead to an overload.
Lastly, there is the influence of social media. Even though the legal age of using social media in India is 18 years, the platform themselves allow children over the age of 13 to join. And in the absence of any regulation, more and more children are creating social media profiles and joining the fray. Here comes the constant bombardment of information. Data related to friends, families, strangers and the world around. Even when the information can be completely unrelated to academics, they are information no doubt and currently keeps the students’ minds clogged with information overload.
Consequences of information overload
The top school in Sonepat has already started taking steps to combat the menace of information overload among students for the consequences are real. The phenomenon not only hurts the students’ academic performance but also deteriorates the quality of their personal lives. And these happen due to the following consequences.
- Mental fatigue
When one constantly asks the brain to do more than what it is capable of, the result is always mental fatigue. Hence, this is the primary consequence of information overload where the mind just cannot keep up with the ocean of information it has to consume. The fatigued state leads to a loss of productivity, an increase in frustration due to failure and stress related to hard work or comparison with peers.
- Reduced attention span
The mind has to exert effort to focus deeply on something. It is not naturally wired to concentrate and thus has to spend energy to do the same. But if information overload demanded a chunk of the available reserve, a little is left behind to pay attention. Consequently, the students start to feel disconnected from the classroom. And absent-rate spikes as their minds simply cannot concentrate anymore.
- Change in behaviour
A fatigued and stressed mind loses its capacity to exert self-control. Once information overload has led to burnout, the brain cannot check its behaviour related to speaking with peers, following rules and discipline, reacting to a situation and more. Over time, students run the risk of developing disruptive behaviours in classrooms and homes which, again, can lead to various other complications.
The only way to deal with information overload is to check and supervise the flow of information towards students. And that is how Swarnprastha Public School keeps its students away from the fatigue of information living in the 21st-century. SPS teachers are specific about which researches can be taken online and which can stay offline. Students also learn internet etiquette or the way to use the technology for one’s benefits rather than allowing it to devour lives. Its forward-thinking approach to education and all-inclusive curriculum has shot SPS to the top of the secondary education haryana and it is here that children learn to master the modern world rather than the things being the other way around.