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Apr 05, 2017 09:37 AM EDT

Technology in The Classroom: Professors Claim Use Of Laptops In Class Affects Academic Performance

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Richard Patterson of the United States Military Academy at West Point and Robert Patterson of Westminster College conducted a study that later revealed that the use of laptops in class "significantly worsens academic performance." The former is an assistant professor of economics while the other teaches finance. The study came in as more universities allow (even encourage) their students to use gadgets during lectures.

According to Times Higher Education, the researchers analyzed the grades of almost 5,600 students at a private liberal arts college. The study also noted that the affected students are mostly males who are low-performing. Laptop users often score between 0.27 and 0.38 (4.0 scale) lower than those who use pen and paper. When translated into an alphabetical scale, a 3.3 is a B+ and a 3.7 is an A-.

In any case, the professors failed to identify the particular reason why laptops are causing "negative effects" in academic performances of students. Nonetheless, they said that "cyber-slacking" contributes to the lower grade points because laptops paired with campus Wi-Fi provides "numerous distractions". On the contrary, Professor Richard said students believe that technological devices help them improve their productivities.

On the other hand, The Westerly Sun reported that the Chariho Regional School District will do a forum on April 26 to discuss the effects of technology to students and their parents. The 120-minute session, per Chariho English teacher Sandra Laub, will be the first of its kind. Unlike the negative claims of the Pattersons, Chariho schools have been pushing the 1:1 student to computer ratio since 2013.

Laub further stressed that all but their youngest students were given laptops to fully integrate technology into teaching. In fact, next year's seniors will be their first graduating class to have had laptops all throughout high school. Of course, Laub assured that aside from making their kids "technologically fluent", they also ensure the balance between academic and social competitiveness as well as their emotional and physical well-beings.

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