Look at any college classroom and the chances that you’ll see a laptop resting on every single desk are great. This is just okay with us since we’ve always believed that they are useful tools for learning.
A new study, however, suggests laptops in the classroom can actually hinder learning and distract students. An article by Julia Laurence on EducationNews.org has more to say about this study.
Laptops in the classroom and multitasking among students
The study even goes further by suggesting that laptops in the classroom distract not only the owners of the laptops themselves, but the students around them as well. The thing is, most of the distractions brought about by using laptops in the classroom are being reported by the students themselves. These classroom distractions include YouTube videos, online games and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
According to research, with all these classroom distractions and subsequent multitasking among students going on, they tend to absorb lessons much less effectively than those who focus on just one task. This multitasking among students, in turn, leads to lower grades, which would actually be just fine if only the owners of the laptop suffer that. After all, it is their choice to disrupt their own learning by using laptops in the classroom. The authors of the study, however, says other students have a right to be spared from classroom distractions, but often have no choice in the matter when the other students around them multitask away on their laptops in the classroom.
In all honesty, studies that concern laptops in the classroom are very much similar to studies about coffee. One study about coffee would say it’s good for the health, while another says it can cause hypertension and a host of other medical conditions. Previous studies have already shown laptops in the classroom are a good thing as it allows a more active approach to learning and teaching. The problem happens when a student uses it for non-academic purposes, which then leads to classroom distractions. So in the end, it’s still about how students use laptops, not the presence of laptops in the classroom per se.
Click here to read the full article.