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Does Social Network Site Use Affect Student Grades and Learning? 1. -June Ahn 2011 Asis&T

By | Feb. 2013
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Does Social Network Site Use Affect Student Grades and Learning? 1. -June Ahn
 2011 ASIS&T
Research on social networking sites and learning achievement is particularly slight when compared to studies of privacy, safety, social capital, and psychological well-being. To date, two studies exemplify the debate surrounding SNS, youth, and educational achievement. A conference paper by Karpinski (2009) received much media attention with findings that college Facebook users have lower GPAs than students who are not users of the site. Karpinski offers several hypotheses for these findings. For example, perhaps Facebook users spend too much time online and less time studying. However, the study did not rigorously examine counter hypotheses and remains a rather exploratory, basic attempt to understand the effect of SNS on learning. Pasek, more, and Hargittai (2009) note several clear limitations of the Karpinski study. First, the sample of students is clearly limited. Second, the study utilizes few control variables in the analysis. And finally, Pasek et al. take issue with the liberal conclusions of Karpinski, namely, that the original study offers strong evidence for a negative relationship between Facebook use and grades. Pasek et al. offer three additional analyses that use a larger sample of undergraduate students, a nationally representative sample of 14–22 year olds, and a longitudinal dataset. The authors utilize more control variables including race, socioeconomic status, and previous academic achievement variables. From this analysis, the researchers find that Facebook usage has no significant relationship to GPA in any of their datasets. The researchers in this debate suggest that the Facebook/GPA relationship is an interesting avenue for future studies. However, aside from the fact that many youth use Facebook, there appear to be no substantive theoretical reasons why Facebook use might influence GPA. As noted earlier, adolescents use the Internet for...
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