Recently, a study was conducted to test the impact of technology use on school grades. The study was led by Dr. Arnold Glass, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University, and was featured in the Educational Psychology journal.
Dr. Glass wondered what kind of effects technology use in the classroom would have. For the study, 118 upper-level college students participated and they were separated into two groups. One group was able to use their computers and cell phones in class, and the other group wasn’t allowed. Both groups had the same controlled variables including class type, material, teacher, and the time of day it was taught.
The Study Results
The outcome of this study was what most people would expect. The use of technology in the classroom did impact the students. However, how much of an impact did it have? For the students who used technology, they got about a half a letter grade lower than the students not using their devices.
With this study, the researches did make two notes regarding the results:
- Students who didn’t use their devices in the group who could use technology still had lower grades. The likely reason this happened was that the students were distracted.
- The teacher asked in-class questions to help the students remember the course material. So, the study only exemplifies the minimum impact of technology use in the classroom on students.
Even though the study only focused on testing college students, Dr. Glass said the results could be applied to all levels of education. You can read more about the study here.
Students using technology in the classroom may help them, however, based on this study, it can also negatively impact their grades. If you’re a parent or teacher, try to encourage your students to use their devices in the classroom less.
*Side Note: This study is legit, but many aren’t. Before acting on, believing in, or sharing any study online, make sure to vet and run a background check on any researchers involved to make sure they’re legit.
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