Phone Use In Class Causes Much Lower Grades

What's the policy on phone at your kid's school?

July 30, 2018

© Andrey Popov |

I had a hard enough time paying attention in class when I was a freshman in college all the way back in 1997. I was the girl who was daydreaming or doodling on my notebook. Now don't get me wrong, I did well in some classes like the ones that had to do with radio, English, or psychology. But when it came to classes like math, science, or economics, I was off in never-never land or skipping class. 

Today's college kids have a lot more distractions at their fingertips literally. They have tablets and laptops for note taking and their cell phones too. What's the big harm in checking your phone every now and again during that boring biology lecture? 

According to a new study, it makes a huge difference in grades. The research was conducted by Rutgers University, and it found that keeping your devices open during class for non-academic use can lead to lower grades. But let's be honest, even if you're using it for academic purposes a text message or notification will likely distract you. 

How much lower were their grades? Students in an upper-level lecture course were allowed to use phones and laptops in class; they scored about a half a letter grade lower on tests than students who were not allowed to keep any devices open during class. Now this study was only done in the college setting, but researchers believe these findings would also apply in middle and high school too. 

What's the policy for your kids or you if you're in college when it comes to technology use in class?