New research by scientists at Michigan State University suggests that laptops do not enhance classroom learning, and in fact students would be better off leaving their laptops in the dorm during class. Although computer use during class may create the illusion of enhanced engagement with course content, it more often reflects engagement with social media, YouTube videos, instant messaging, and other nonacademic content. This self-inflicted distraction comes at a cost, as students are spending up to one-third of valuable (and costly) class time zoned out, and the longer they are online the more their grades tend to suffer.
In other news, disengaged students have difficulty learning the material.
A few issues with this research. The students volunteered to be tracked during the research period, and as such, the 84 students were self-selected and may not be representative of their peers.
I’d like to see this happen at the K-12 level, where students can more easily be tracked because of required filtering.