Digital Distractions Hurt the Best of Students

Submitted Thu, 06/19/2014 - 7:51am by BossFrog

So you think you’re so smart that you can fiddle around with your smartphone or tablet during a college lecture without missing a beat?

Surprise! Even the most academically gifted student may be shortchanging themselves if they don’t devote their full attention to the lesson at hand.

Susan Ravizza, who led the study out of Michigan State University, warns that digital distractions can affect a student’s grades, no matter how much more intelligent they think they are than the rest of the class.

Her team looked look at Internet use for non-school purposes in an introductory psychology class at MSU with 500 students.

After the study was completed, test grades for people, regardless of intellectual ability, were lower the more they spent time surfing the net for news, sending emails or going on social media sites.

Ravizza says that students may overestimate their multitasking skills since all that’s available to them on smartphones and tablets can be far more entertaining that what is being taught.