I am just starting to read a really interesting book called "Why Don't Students Like School?" by Daniel T. Willingham. I learned about it by listening to an interview with the author by Steve Hargadon. He has some really great interviews with leading thinkers that I enjoy listening to on the way to work. Look on the right side of his website for a list of really fascinating interviews with people like Seth Godin, Sir Ken Robinson, Clay Shirkey, Daniel Pink and many more.
The first insight from this book is that "peoples minds are not well suited for thinking"!! He explains that thinking is a really difficult task and very taxing for the brain and so it prefers to rely on memory and he gives some good explanation and examples in the chapter. The brain likes to think, he says, when it can solve puzzles successfully and when it is engaged.
This has immediate application to what I have been noticing in the computer lab. Students who can rely on memory for many technology tasks have a much easier time than many older teachers who still need to have everything written out step by step. Even kids who have not been exposed to some technology tasks (like saving on a server-following folder pathways) show lots of frustration. The same age students who have been exposed often to saving their work can do so much more because they can rely on their memories for the menial tasks and focus on what is more engaging.