Study: Technology helps many students study better

Posted on Tuesday, 12/3/2013 7:08 PM
 

 

These days, it's hard for students to escape modern technology. Whether their parents own mobile devices or their teachers use software for students, pupils are being exposed to technology early in life.

While this early exposure to technology can help students develop essential 21st-century skills at a young age, it can also increase the number of distractions they face throughout their academic careers. For this reason, it's important for parents and educators to be aware of the ways technology can be both helpful and distracting.

The upside of using technology
Based on the results of a recent study, which was commissioned by McGraw-Hill Education, technology can do a lot of good among students who are looking to excel academically. While the research involved more than 500 college students, it can easily be applied to tech-savvy high schoolers.

Through the use of different forms of technology, such as the Internet, mobile devices and adaptive learning programs, more than 50 percent of students felt "better prepared for classes." The same number of study participants said that technology had "improved studying efficiency."

An additional benefit to using technology was a reduction in stress. According to the study's findings, 45 percent of students found preparing for exams to be less stressful when using study technology.

"Studying effectively - and with the right type of technology - is one of the best ways to ensure that students succeed in class," said Brian Kibby, president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education, in a statement. "But focus is the key."

The risks of using technology
Despite technology's educational potential, its use also comes with a fair amount of risks during periods of time that should be devoted to studying. For example, almost 40 percent of students said that anything related to the Internet, such as social media, is the most distracting form of technology.

In addition, 50 percent of study participants said they used mobile phones, tablets and computers for activities completely unrelated to their academics when they should have been studying.

This is not the first study into the potential harm technology poses to students' academic habits. Recent research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln revealed that the typical college student uses his or her mobile device 11 times a day in class, on average, according to the school's website.

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