Smartphones have been a part of our daily lives. As a matter of fact, some kids even know how to utilize some of its features more than us. Let’s admit, they’ve grown in this generation and we’ve been left out. However, there’s a study that wants to pinpoint a certain factor on why students have failing grades. Have an idea on what that is? Apparently, the study says that one of the main reasons why children experience low to failing grades is because they bring cellphones inside classrooms.
Scientists who looked at the effects of having parted attention in people were the ones who started this. As per them, when the focus is distributed between two tasks, fewer and fewer items in those tasks can be recalled by a certain person. In Psychology, this is known as retention.
Having that said, two researchers wanted to dive deeper into the topic. These two people from Rutgers University wanted to correlate that finding into something more concrete as of today – smartphones.
They wanted to try because there were additional researches that connect electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops that point to a person not being able to think fully. Moreso, It limits a person’s ability to “think outside the box.” As one of the great minds once said:
I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots,” – Albert Einstein
The lead researcher of the study, Dr. Arnold Glass, a professor of Psychology at Rutgers University, said that he’s been wondering by the psychology that is happening inside classrooms. This is why he wanted to test whether or not bringing mobile phones inside classrooms can contribute to how a certain student performs.
I was always interested in using technology in the classroom before it existed. But when the time became apparent tat it was affecting the classroom, it raised the question (of) what effect it was having,” Dr. Arnold Glass said.
Him and another colleague based their research on a study published in the Journal Educational Psychology. The two researchers then divided the students into two levels with all of them enrolled in the same program. The total of 118-upper level college students were grouped in:
- The one half was allowed to use laptops and smartphones inside the classroom;
- On the other hand, the other half was not allowed.
They studied it semester-long and they wanted to find proof whether or not technology can help a certain student with his/her grades. Both groups were in the same classroom, the same lesson plans, and were taught by the same professors.
What do you think happened? Do you assume that the students who regularly bring cellphones inside classrooms had the advantage? Unfortunately, no. In the study after the semester, students who brought their technological devices such as laptops and smartphones scored half a letter grade lower on tests and exams.
According to Glass and other researchers, the reason why their scores are lower is that of the distraction of technology with their study. Although they use it to aid in their lessons like taking notes down, remembering things, people still can’t get over the fact that it’s a technological device and that there are a lot of things you can do with it.
In conclusion, students can actually be worse given if the program is more difficult. Moreover, it’s dependent on how the class is taught and whether or not they’re using electronic devices for other purposes like accessing social media, playing games, online shopping, etc.
According to Dr. Glass, this research is not just for college students. As a matter of fact, middle-school and high school students are far more less-focused when it comes to classes so it’s applicable with them as well.
These findings should alert the many dedicated students and instructors that dividin attention is having an insidious effect that is impairin their exam performance and final grade.”
What Dr. Glass want us to understand is that there’s no harm to bring cellphones inside classrooms. However, as normal people, we can’t promise and it’s not a sin not to check on other things not related to lecture every once in a while. This causes distraction and that the retention of this to the minds of people could become weaker and weaker.
While we were still studying, chances are we bring cellphones inside classrooms every single day. No doubt; as a matter of fact, laptops and tablets are now being utilized as a tool for education which shouldn’t be the case because it can cause a distraction. Given the functions of our technology today, we can’t be so sure that it’s really just to help us become more intelligent.