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West Point Study Finds Students Who Use Technology Get Worse Grades

West Point Study Finds Students Who Use Technology Get Worse Grades

A study that occurred in economics courses at West Point has found that technology- specifically laptops and tablets- are helping students to perform worse on exams, not better.

During the study, “[o]ne-third of the sections could use laptops or tablets to take notes during lecture; one-third could use tablets, but only to look at class materials; and one-third were prohibited from using any technology,” said The Washington Post.

The students who were allowed access to laptops performed the worst- especially the brightest of the group.

"We might have expected the smartest students to have used their laptops prudently. Instead, they became technology’s biggest victims. Perhaps hubris played a role. The smarter students may have overestimated their ability to multitask. Or the top students might have had the most to gain by paying attention in class,” The Post said .

"The West Point study has lessons even for those whose baccalaureate days are far behind them. This is yet more evidence that multitasking doesn’t work. Beware of people who take laptops into meetings — even 'just to take notes.' They’re probably not listening to you.”

This study also applies to the K-12 classroom as schools and districts race to adopt new technology to be as up-to-date as possible. One-to-one initiatives, or providing a device for each student to use during instruction, is becoming increasingly popular. Even exams themselves are going digital more and more frequently.

Certainly, studies that suggest these efforts are counterproductive to the ultimate goal of facilitating learning are not good to hear, especially for the district that just invested thousands into a tech upgrade.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

5/17/2016

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