A recent study
by Alberto Posso at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
examined the pattern of teenagers’ internet usage and its relationship
to their reading, maths, and science scores on the 2012 Programme for
International Student Assessment (PISA).
PISA is an international survey used to analyse educational systems
based on 15-year-old students’ performance in reading, math, and science
in randomly chosen schools. The PISA survey also collects information
on how often teens use technology and for what purpose, as well as
household information such as parents’ education and occupations.
After analysing the scores of 12,000 Australian high school students
in the most recent 2012 survey, and after controlling for differences
such as socioeconomic status, parents’ education, and other variables
that might affect students’ educational outcomes, teenagers who played
video games on a regular basis scored 15 points above average in maths
and reading and 17 points above average in science, while teenagers who
used social media daily scored 4% below average in maths. The article
discusses the possible reasons for this disparity, including the fact
that certain video games require students to apply academic knowledge to
progress to higher levels. Social media use, however, reinforces little
academic knowledge and can eat into studying time.
Source: Internet Usage and Educational Outcomes Among 15-Year-Old Australian Students (2016), International Journal of Communication