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Students Cannot Study and Use Mobile Phones, Research Says

Students Cannot Study and Use Mobile Phones, Research Says

New research has concluded that students who text while studying receive lower test scores and are worse note takers, according to a recent study by Ohio University, Illinois State University and Nebraska University researchers. 

"The study, Mobile Phones in the Classroom: Examining the Effects of Texting, Twitter, and Message Content on Student Learning, carried out a series of tests with 145 undergraduates," according to an article on

It examined how students performed when doing school-related tasks like watching video lectures while receiving distractions from their mobile phones such as in-coming and outbound text messages.

Another group of students from the sample watched the same video lectures without facing any distracts from their mobile phones.

As a result, the students without distractions were able to recall information better and were more likely to score better as well.

"Part of the test also examined whether text messages or tweets specifically about what was being shown on the video would make a difference—and this had a much less negative impact than 'irrelevant' information, such as planning where to go out that evening," the article said.

In other words, if the smart phone or mobile device was limited to strictly learning and school use, students would perform fine. As soon as distractions such as social life concerns began to permeate the lectures, that's when students steered off the track for high performance.

As more and more students use mobile phones inside and out of the classroom, this research servers as further evidence of the importance of monitoring and even dictating digital use within the classroom and at home.

Though this study includes only university students, it undoubtedly has implications for the K-12 classroom, where many students, too, regularly use mobile devices and smart phones.

"'Perhaps one of the biggest challenges instructors face in the 21st Century college classroom is the struggle of retaining student interest and engagement while students remain connected to the outside world through their mobile devices,' say the researchers," according to the article.

Indeed, a recent study from London revealed that students banned from using mobile phones were likely to test higher and perform better in general.

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Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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