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New Research Links Video Game Play and Academic Achievement

New Research Links Video Game Play and Academic Achievement

New research from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia has revealed some interesting findings about the effect technology might have on student learning.

According to the study, teenagers who play online video games are more likely to experience academic success while teenagers who frequent social media are more likely to fall behind.

According to a release from RMIT University, Associate Professor Alberto Posso used test scores from the Program for International Student Assessment as well as data it collected about students’ online habits.

"Students who play online games almost every day score 15 points above the average in maths and 17 points above the average in science,” Posso said in the release.

"When you play online games you're solving puzzles to move to the next level and that involves using some of the general knowledge and skills in maths, reading and science that you've been taught during the day," he said.

Students who regularly checked Facebook, however, scored an average of 20 points behind on math as opposed to students who never used social media.

The study claims to be different from past studies on how increased Internet usage affects educational outcomes because of its use of PISA data. The PISA, the report says, includes

"an impressive amount of information on students’ online activities, including usage and usage frequency of social networks and games. Importantly, the data also allow the analysis to consider these factors after controlling for the amount of time that students use the Internet for study, a factor that has been largely neglected in this literature. PISA surveys also collect household-level information as well as data on parents’ occupation and educational attainment, which serve as important controls when assessing educational attainment.”

Moving forward, Posso recommends that teachers consider blending both Facebook and online games into their lesson plans.

He recommends video games for the obvious reason that they have been found to improve academic performance, but also Facebook because he believes integrating it into the classroom can help engage students who are using it and counter its negative effect on achievement.

Read the full report here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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