Electronic Gadgets

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Issues in Information Systems
Volume 13, Issue 1, pp. 225-231, 2012
Taylor S. Drain, Washburn University, taylor.drain@washburn.edu Lakeisha E. Grier, Washburn University, lakeisha.grier@washburn.edu Wenying Sun, Washburn University, nan.sun@washburn.edu

In this study, we investigate the relationship between academic performance and the use of computer technology. We test our hypothesis which proposes that the growing use of electronic deveices is academically beneficial to high school students' standardized test scores and GPA. Our method of data collection includes both a survey of high school students in the Midwest area and an analysis of national SAT scores in the years before computing and in years with computing. Analysis of SAT archival data shows a negative correlation between scores pre -computing and scores post-computing (with computing influences), meaning that as scores before computing were decreasing, scores with prevalent computer technology are increasing. Our survey data also displayed a positive correlation between time spent on electronic devices for school purpose and GPA. Keywords: Computer Technology, Academic Performance , SAT, GPA, Electronic Devices

The availability and use of electronic devices continues to grow. Over 420 million smart phones were sold worldwide in 2011 [6]. Almost 400 million computers were sold during 2010 , and that figure is expected to increase to over 1 billion units which will incl ude computers and smart phones by 2014 [3]. With the development of Wi-Fi hotspots, it is now easier for people to stay connected with their portable devices. Since electronic devices continue to be adapted to be friendlier to the end users, we want to research how the increased use of computer based technologies both in the classroom and at home impacts the academic performance of students. The following research question is posed: “Is the increased use of computer based technology improving the academic performance of students?” In order for us to investigate this question, we have analyzed two sources of data. The first being SAT test scores over the last 30 years. The second source is from data we collected from a survey that we presented to high school students.

This study is important because it shows that the increasing use of electronic technologies for schoolwork is improving students’ academic performance. Computer technology is everywhere in the society, and most of the high school students in the U.S. own or have access to computer technology on a daily basis. We hope to show appropriate use of these technologies will increase learning. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. We provide a literature review on related research. We then discuss the data analysis and present the results. The last section provides discussions of the results along with the implications of this study.

Our literature review suggests there are contradictory conclusions from various studies regarding whether computer use improves academic performance. Some studies state that computer use improves academic performance. Others propose that academic performance has nothing to do with computer use. A few studies suggest that computer use is a distraction to school studies and negatively impacts academic performance.


Issues in Information Systems
Volume 13, Issue 1, pp. 225-231, 2012
One study claims that there exists evidence that Internet-time is harming children’s academic performance. This study was done by economists at the University of Munich named Thomas Fuchs and Ludger Woessmann who surveyed students in 31 countries. They created a very thorough, detailed survey in order to eliminate other possible causes of the downward trend of academic performance . They state in their results that the “sheer ubiquity of...
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