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Study: Cellphones in Classroom Can Lower Students’ Grades

Cellphones can distract students and divide the attention of learners.
Cellphones can distract students and divide the attention of learners.

Cellphones Can Impact Student’s Academic Performance

Teens now have their own cellphones. The sad thing about this 21st technology is that, most young teens are tethered to their phones – even inside the classroom. These devices have been known to distract students from completing their tasks and worse, these electronic devices can even lower students’ grades and test scores.

This discovery was confirmed by a new study conducted by two researchers from Rutgers University who delved deeper on the potential ability of electronic devices to divide attention and induce poor performance in exams.

The study involved 118 students who were divided into two groups, one in a device-permitted classroom and the other one was not. The researchers found that students who were exposed to electronic devices such as laptops and cellphone scored lower in the exam at the end of the term.

The researchers attributed the result to the distractions posed by the devices surrounding them.

The research was headed by Arnold Glass, a professor from Rutgers University.

Cellphones can distract students and divide the attention of learners.
Cellphones can distract students and divide the attention of learners.

Cellphones Divide Attention and Decrease Efficiency

Previous studies have asserted that divided attention caused by electronics may induce poor performance in exams. But the researchers were curious about its specific effect in technology-enhanced classrooms.

The results were astounding. Indeed, electronics such as cellphones and laptops could divide attention among students, hampering their efficiency in completing tasks and inducing poor performance in exams.

This result was confirmed by Arnold Glass, the lead author of the study.

“Many dedicated students think they can divide their attention in the classroom without harming their academic success – but we found an insidious effect on exam performance and final grades,” Glass said in the release.

To counter the negative effects of using electronic gadgets in the classroom, Glass encouraged teachers to educate their students about the compelling power of electronics to distract students and its effect on the performance of students in exams.

These findings,” he added, “should alert the many dedicated students and instructors that dividing attention is having an insidious effect that is impairing their exam performance and final grades.”

Glass said in a press release that teachers need to “ … explain to students the damaging effect of distractions on retention – not only for themselves, but for the whole class.”

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.