High School Students' Academic Performance and Internet Usage

By Austin, Wesley; Totaro, Michael W. | Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research, January 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

High School Students' Academic Performance and Internet Usage


Austin, Wesley, Totaro, Michael W., Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research


ABSTRACT

Considerable controversy surrounds the effects technologies such as the Internet have on human capital accumulation. As with most media, the Internet and related services are capable of delivering enriched learning experiences. However, there are large potential costs to using the Internet and its concomitant services, which may result in degradation of high school students' scholastic performance. In this study, we explore two related questions. First, does Internet usage harm the grades of high school students? Second, to what degree does the intensity of Internet usage affect grades? We utilize data from the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which measures educational outcomes, internet use and a host of other correlates. Probit results indicate that excessive Internet use lowers the probability of earning top grades while more moderate use has a positive impact on the probability.

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

INTRODUCTION

Several reasons might lead technology to assist or impair human capital attainment by students. Youths may employ the Internet in educational matters such as writing papers, searches for answers to questions and communicating with classmates on homework. However, time spent in activities where "surfing the net" occurs could substitute away from time allocated to reading, studying and completing homework. This may hurt academic performance in the short term, which might also diminish the ability or incentive to continue schooling over the longer term.

Within the past decade, the Internet and WWW use have increased substantially - for example, according to Pew Internet & American Life Project Surveys, the percentage of U. S. online users has increased from 40-45% in March 2000 to nearly 80% in April 2009 (Pew Internet & American Life Project Surveys, 2009). Recent expansion of adolescent use of the Internet is the result of an ongoing shift in adolescents' daily behavior patterns. The majority of adolescents from a sample in one study compared their online behaviors to the phenomenon of placing telephone calls, which are typically mundane, the purposes for which are both social and nonsocial (Gross, 2004). Hence, adolescents' Internet use occurs without much thought or consideration - it has become, in effect, just a normal daily activity.

Why is the potential impact of Internet use on educational outcomes relevant for the discipline of economics? Human capital accumulation bears directly and heavily on earning potential (see Grossman, 1972 and Mincer, 1974) and it is widely accepted that strong and statistically significant relationships link individual health and human capital formation. Moreover, the impact of educational policies and factors that affect learning continues to generate widespread public policy concern. Thus, for economists and policy makers, gauging the relationship that technology use has on educational outcomes is worthy of study.

MOTIVATION

Computer access and use among adolescents and other ages have grown considerably over the past decade (Louge, 2006). In fact, more than 80% of U.S. adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 use the Internet, with roughly half going online daily (Lenhart et al., 2005). The significance of Internet use by children and adolescents has even spawned a new field of inquiry in developmental psychology (Greenfield and Yan, 2006). With the likelihood that Internet usage by adolescents will continue to increase over time, concerns about the impact on high school students' academic performance should be researched. Stakeholders - parents, teachers, administrators, and the students themselves - would benefit from knowing more about the digital environment within which learning occurs. Regardless of whether academic performance is positively or negatively impacted by Internet use, a better understanding and greater awareness about such issues might facilitate changes in pedagogy by educators, as well as learning on the part of students and the support they receive from their parents. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

High School Students' Academic Performance and Internet Usage
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.