How Laptop Internet Use Impacts Classroom Learning


The Internet is available almost anywhere from home, college, school, and office. Most of the students use the laptop internet in classrooms. Well, using the internet in the classroom have major benefits. But, a new research suggests that surfing the laptop internet in class tends to have poorer test scores.

Students spent the most time on social media, reading email, shopping for items such as clothes and watching videos. And their academic performance suffered.

Scientists from the Michigan State University have studied laptop use in an introductory psychology course. They found that the students spend much time on browsing the web for non-class-related purposes were 37 minutes.

Professor Susan Ravizza, said, “Internet use was a significant predictor of students’ final exam score even when their intelligence and motivation were taken into account.”

“The detrimental relationship associated with non-academic internet use. It raises questions about the policy of encouraging students to bring their laptops to class when they are unnecessary for class use,” added Professor.

Scientists conducted the research like a lecture course within 1 hour and 50 minutes. They asked 507 students to involve in research. But only 127 students agreed to participate, which involved logging onto a proxy server when they went online.

Scientists measured student’s intelligence through ACT scores.

Almost 83 students checked into the proxy server in more than half of the 15-course sessions during the semester and were included in the final analysis. Using the internet for class purposes did not help students’ test scores.

Ravizza said, “I wasn’t surprised. There was no internet-based assignment involved in this course. This means, most of the ‘academic use’ was downloading lecture slides in order to follow along or take notes.”

“In previous research, we showed that the taking notes on a laptop are not as beneficial for learning as writing notes by hand. Once students crack their laptop open, it is probably tempting to do other sorts of internet-based tasks. And those tasks are not class-relevant,” she added.

“Even, I also stopped posting lecture slides before class. Instead, I wait until the week before the exam to upload them so there is no reason for students to bring a laptop to class.”

“I now ask students to sit in the back if they want to bring their laptop to class. Thus, their internet use does not distract other students,” she said.


See stories of the future in your inbox each morning.