Stu­dents should game more than they Face­book, study says

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

PLAY­ING on­line games may boost teenagers’ school re­sults while spend­ing time on so­cial net­works such as Face­book could do the op­po­site, ac­cord­ing to an Aus­tralian study.

The re­search, based on the per­for­mance of 15-year-old Aus­tralians in the glob­ally recog­nised Pro­gram for In­ter­na­tional Stu­dent As­sess­ment (PISA) tests, looked at the re­la­tion­ship be­tween in­ter­net us­age and ed­u­ca­tional out­comes.

“The anal­y­sis re­veals that chil­dren who reg­u­larly use on­line so­cial net­works, such as Face­book, tend to ob­tain lower scores in math, read­ing, and sci­ence than stu­dents who never or hardly ever use these sites,” it said.

“Con­versely, the anal­y­sis shows that those stu­dents who play on­line video games ob­tain higher scores on PISA tests, all other things be­ing equal,” the study pub­lished in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion said.

The study said it was pos­si­ble that chil­dren who were al­ready gifted in maths, sci­ence and read­ing were more likely to play on­line games. But it added that while both gam­ing and so­cial­is­ing used time that teenagers could oth­er­wise spend study­ing, video games “po­ten­tially al­low stu­dents to ap­ply and sharpen skills learned in school”.

“Stu­dents who play on­line games al­most ev­ery day score 15 points above the aver­age in maths and 17 points above the aver­age in sci­ence,” study au­thor Al­berto Posso said yes­ter­day.

“When you play on­line games you’re solv­ing puz­zles to move to the next level and that in­volves us­ing some of the gen­eral knowl­edge and skills in maths, read­ing and sci­ence that you’ve been taught dur­ing the day.”

Stu­dents who used on­line so­cial net­works on a daily ba­sis scored 20 points lower in maths than a stu­dent who never used this type of so­cial me­dia, ac­cord­ing to the study, which used the PISA rank­ing for 12,000 pupils from 2012 and con­trolled for other in­flu­ences.

“Stu­dents who are reg­u­larly on so­cial me­dia are, of course, los­ing time that could be spent on study – but it may also in­di­cate that they are strug­gling with maths, read­ing and sci­ence and are go­ing on­line to so­cialise in­stead,” Posso said.

In­ter­net us­age among teenagers is con­sid­ered par­tic­u­larly high in Aus­tralia where 97 per­cent of 15 to 17 year olds say they fre­quently go on­line. Some 78pc of the chil­dren in the sam­ple used on­line so­cial net­works al­most ev­ery day or ev­ery day.

Use of the in­ter­net was not bad in it­self, and Posso, from the Royal Mel­bourne In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, sug­gested teach­ers con­sider in­cor­po­rat­ing pop­u­lar video games into their lessons – “as long as they’re not vi­o­lent ones”.

He also said other fac­tors also needed to be con­sid­ered, with skip­ping school ev­ery day about twice as bad for re­sults as us­ing Face­book or chat­ting on­line daily. –

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