Research Shows Detrimental Effects of Laptop Use in Classrooms

By Hardiman, Kate | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, March 16, 2018 | Go to article overview

Research Shows Detrimental Effects of Laptop Use in Classrooms


Hardiman, Kate, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


In the modern university classroom, it is common to hear the clicking of keys and see the lights of laptop screens as the instructor delivers a lecture. Though technology has become ubiquitous and indispensable for students, recent research suggests laptop usage during class has negative consequences.

College students who use computers or tablets during lectures “learn less and earn worse grades,” according to a randomized study conducted by Sue Dynarski for the Brookings Institution.

Even though students are able to transcribe more information at a faster pace and access their readings with ease on electronic devices, a growing body of evidence suggests that students would be better off taking notes the old-fashioned way.

The study found that when students use laptops, they are prone to distract themselves by checking their social media notifications or browsing the web. Moreover, the effect of one student’s distraction can have a ripple effect on his or her peers.

In the randomized study, the multitasking students scored about 11 percent less than those students taking notes. And for those sitting near the screen of multitaskers who were not multitasking themselves scored 17 percent lower than those who had a view without distraction.

Even for those on task and taking notes, there are drawbacks of typing compared to writing notes. …

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Research Shows Detrimental Effects of Laptop Use in Classrooms
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