How Tech Fights Problems Caused by Tech

(Image via Shutterstock)

(Image via Shutterstock)

We live in a time of increasingly obsessive worry that our lives are being worsened by the tech that surrounds us. We are sacrificing our privacy, we hear, as we dwell online. We don’t spend enough time with real people and too much instead in virtual interaction. We suffer from shortening attention spans. And on and on. However, there are likely to be endless ways to employ tech to combat the effects of tech that we decide we really do not like. This article in The Chronicle of Higher Education is about tools to reduce distraction while taking online courses. It points toward what’s possible. Careful research on students showed that using software to give them incentives not to stop studying really worked. They studied harder and increased their course completion rates. One thing we at Techonomy see coming is a deepening integration of psychological understanding with technology design. That will surely lead to negatives, at least in the opinion of some, like more effective ways to convince us to buy things. But it will also mean we can better take advantage of modern revolutions like online learning.

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