Bringing laptops, gadgets to class may lower grades


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Nowadays, students from grade school to universities are encouraged to bring laptops and other gadgets to class to take notes, gather information, write papers, as well as to learn how to use softwares and programs. But a recent study has shown that taking these devices to class has been linked to lower grades.
Bringing laptops, gadgets to class may lower grades

In a study carried out by a team of researchers led by Professor Susan Ravizza of the Michigan State University, it was discovered that the use of laptops in class did not lead to better learning.

To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers tracked internet use in a large introductory psychology course.

For the study, the researchers used proxy serve to monitor internet use. It recorded all internet requests that students made during class. This enabled researchers to determine what websites students were surfing during class.

Over a third of the class time was spent on surfing the internet for non-academic activities. The researchers then calculated each student’s internet use and compared it their grade in the final exam. However, they also conducted further analyses to rule out factors like student’s interest, motivation and intelligence.

Their findings showed that students who used the internet more during class were more likely to have lower scores on the final exam.

“As can be expected, our results show students’ class time surfing the internet for nonacademic purposes is related to lower grades,” Ravizza told The Daily Mail UK.

Is browsing for academic purposes beneficial?

The researchers also observed that some students browsed the class website and looked for materials being discussed in the classroom. But their findings were also similar to that of surfing non-academic content.

“We found even when internet browsing was about such academic content, it was not associated with higher exam scores,” Ravizza said.

“In other words, even when students were browsing for class-related information, there was no related benefit to the final exam,” she added.

Previous research has also revealed that taking notes on a laptop was less effective for learning compared to writing them by hand.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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