Digital leisure time activities, cognition, learning behaviour and information literacy: What are our children learning?
Recent developments in digital technology have resulted in the unprecedented uptake of digital technology engagement as a leisure time pursuit across the age span. This has resulted in the speculation that such use of digital technology is responsible for changes in cognition and learning behavior. This study investigated 2 groups of school-aged learners (10—12 years) differentiated by their digital immersions level (n=48), defined by their scores on a leisure time digital immersion questionnaire. The study‘s general aim was to explore cognitive and educational differences between the 2 groups. Each group completed tests of attention and reasoning (verbal and non-verbal) and took part in two educational tasks where their learning behaviors were observed. Findings indicated that high digital leisure time immersion is predictive of attentional inconsistency and that high digital consumption behaviour is predictive of low literacy levels. Further, low digital immersion females and high immersion males perform poorly for an internet research task. However, all students were poor with regards digital information literacy skills. The results give rise to two recommendations for parents and educators of our millennial children.