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Using Technology to Exercise the Mind

Authored By: 
Cavin Thuring, Technology Teacher

Virtually all schools have a technology requirement.  Common sense tells us that this is because our world is increasingly dependent upon technology, and it’s important to be able to utilize it.  Here at Beekman, however, we go beyond the basics and learn technology through the execution of “fun” software.  This is certainly more engaging for students, but there are more benefits than meet the eye.

People learn programs like Adobe Photoshop in order to manipulate images for work, play, or artistic exploration.  And while it’s not too difficult a program to learn, it does take time to master it.  Every Photoshop project is truly a problem that has to be solved, no differently than a math or science question.  At The Beekman School, we offer several computer courses, one of which teaches Adobe Photoshop in order to explore the fundamentals in Digital Imaging.  It is a challenging but fun class.  And I stress to my students that although it may seem simple compared to some of their other classes, learning Photoshop will help them in all their other endeavors by expanding and improving their minds.

It has been studied and shown that learning Photoshop improves cognitive functioning.  Last year, Dr. Denise Park published a study in the journal Psychological Science.  The study examined what the mental effects were when elderly subjects were assigned various tasks to perform daily for three months.  She found that challenging tasks, such as learning Photoshop, permanently improved the memories of the elderly while tasks like playing games did not.  Challenging tasks strengthen the networks of the entire brain.

The Beekman School has always maintained that the classes it offers enrich the minds of its students, even the creative classes.  It’s encouraging to know that there is a study that supports what we have always believed.  Our technology classes not only develop and improve our students’ ability to use a computer, but also help to improve their minds for all the other aspects of their lives.

We are welcoming students to class this fall either via a hybrid in-person/online learning model in NYC or via fully remote, synchronous online classes. 

Learn more about our re-opening plan and response to COVID-19 >