Google is 20 years old this month. That means the students about to join masters in management classes at business schools ­— so-called generation Z — have lived pretty much all of their sentient lives alongside the mighty search engine. Think of it: from the ages of three or four, the answer to any question that has entered their heads has been available instantly. That seems miraculous to those of us whose childhoods were spent rifling through dictionaries and encyclopedias. But according to the academics who will be teaching these 22-, 23-and 24-year-olds, there is a trade-off. Students, they say, are curious, connected and fast — but their attention spans are alarmingly short. Who needs the hard cognitive work that comes with committing facts to memory? Are attention spans really shrinking? It’s hard to tell. At first glance, research for Microsoft in 2015 would suggest those business school educators’ classroom observations are well-founded. A well-publicised survey concluded t...

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