Classroom laptop use can harm performance

August 15, 2013

Laptops have become increasingly visible in campus classrooms across the globe, but one study cautions that laptop use in classrooms can have a negative effect on the grades of the user and of those around the user. The experiment had students attend a university-level lecture with various instructions regarding laptop use, and then tested the participants on the content of the lecture. The study found those students who were instructed to multitask online during the lecture, and the students who did not have laptops but were in clear view of another’s screen, suffered grades 11-17% lower than their peers. The students were also questioned about their sense of distraction, and most denied the laptops had any effect on their concentration. Recently, tablet use has started to take over laptop use in classroom settings, which can be more easily used solely for note-taking, and are often viewed as less obtrusive than laptops. CBC (Canadian Press)