Previous Post Next Post


Brought to you by

Home Computers Can Lower Grades

By sandymaple |

While many states are aiming to level the educational playing field by making sure all children have access to a computer, experts say that for some kids, having a home computer might actually do them more harm than good.

In a large study conducted by Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, reading and math scores of 150,000 North Carolina students were analyzed before and after a computer was introduced into the home.  They discovered that kids who first got a home computer while in grades five through eight posted lower scores in math and reading than they did before getting a computer.

While the decline in scores was “modest but significant,” those in disadvantaged families were found to be particularly impacted.   Professor Jacob Vigdor says that this was due to the fact that in these households, parents were not only less likely to monitor their kids’ computer use, but also less likely to guide them in using the computers for educational purposes.

Adults may think of computer technology as a productivity tool first and foremost, but the average kid doesn’t share that perception.”

Because this study was conducted from 2000 to 2005, it missed the impact of Twitter, Facebook and other online distractions.  But researchers say that having broadband access to the Internet, which most of the students in the study did, contributed to a whole lot of time-wasting.  These kids were using their computers to socialize and play games.

Of course, a five-year study wasn’t really necessary to discover that kids play on their computers.  But Vigdor says the research indicates states like Maine, which recently funded laptops for every sixth grader, might actually be widening the gaps between test scores of advantaged and disadvantaged students.

Image: PictureYouth/Flickr

More from this author:

Diaper Need: How You Can Help

Body Image Distortion in Teen Girls

Ten Great Grownup Books for Kids

Female Viagra Not All That

Should Kids Have Best Friends?

Do Tween Magazines Need a PG Rating?

11-Year-Old Raises $70K to Help Oil Spill Birds

Married, No Kids:  Opting Out of Parenthood

Is Divorce Contagious?

Early Puberty Linked to High Meat Diet

Does Barbie Look Different to You?

More on Babble

About sandymaple



« Go back to Mom

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Comments, together with personal information accompanying them, may be used on and other Babble media platforms. Learn More.

0 thoughts on “Home Computers Can Lower Grades

  1. [...] Os pesquisadores revelaram que entre as crianças em idade escolar, as que tiveram um computador pessoal disponível em suas casas antes tiveram uma queda no rendimento escolar, apresentando notas abaixo da média em disciplinas como matemática e leitura, informa o site Strollerderby. [...]

  2. ajedrez says:

    I actually noticed a slight increase in my grades after my family got a computer. Rather than having to go to the library and be put under the pressure of time limits (not only the library’s closing times, but the time limits they place on computer usage), I was able to comfortably do the research I needed. Maybe it is because I knew not to waste time on the computer by playing games.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Previous Post Next Post