Put Down the IPhone

Posted: April 17, 2012 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives

In totally obvious news today, researchers have discovered that students who text message during class do not retain the information being taught as well as students who do not text message during class.

The study was conducted by the University of Pittsburg-Bradford and used a questionnaire given to 190 undergraduate students who attended a lecture-based class lasting for 50 or 75 minutes. The results showed that students viewed and average of 2.6 texts and sent an average of 2.4 texts during class time.  Self-regulation of students was a major factor in their ability to put down the cellphone and perk up their ears. Those who kept the phones in their bags during class time were more likely to keep their attention on classroom education, resulting in better grades and improved cognitive learning. Those who just couldn’t keep their hands off their keyboards, however, weren’t as likely to maintain attention to their instructor and retain the information being taught.

Many college students feel as thought they can multitask effectively during class by equally paying attention to the content being taught and keeping up with their text conversations. But researchers aren’t concerned about students’ multitasking abilities, but rather how well they can learn if they don’t devote their full attention to classroom instruction.

Researchers are urging students to put down their BlackBerrys and iPhones and start paying attention in class, especially since university bans on texting during class isn’t necessarily effective. Those same researchers also suggest for professors to use interactive instructional techniques in order to keep students’ attention.

Cliffs notes: stop texting during class. Not to sound like mom and dad, but you’re in school to learn, not to give your thumbs a workout. I’m sure whatever you’re texting about can wait 80 minutes while you’re bettering yourself.

—Amber Brenza

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