Chromebooks Becoming Distracting to Student Learning


Photo by Johnny Greenzaid

Senior Elliot Sloate gets distracted by games on his chromebook during a class.

By Jonathan Greenzaid, Senior Writer

As a lesson on social norms is given in psychology class, I look around and notice multiple computer screens filled not with slideshows or notes related to the class topic, but with games and videos.

Chromebooks, meant to be a tool utilized for classroom learning, have become little more than distractions to students. Chromebooks should not be used in the classroom because they affect students’ academic performance.

Chromebooks are supposed to better a student’s learning environment. However, they do the opposite by making it harder for students to learn.

According to a 2003 Cornell University study, students who multi-tasked during a lecture scored lower on a test compared to students who did not multitask.

If students used nothing more than a notebook and pen to take notes, there would be little distractions within the classroom.

According to a Princeton University and UCLA study, students who took notes by hand performed better on quizzes and tests than those who took notes on computers.

Additionally, even students who choose not to misuse laptops still perform poorly in class due to distractions from others misusing laptops in the classroom.

According to a study conducted by Faria Sana, a doctoral student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, students who had other students in the same class multitasking on a laptop performed 17 percent worse in the class than students who did not.

Teachers themselves are well aware that students misuse Chromebooks and have taken measures to make Chromebooks less of a distraction.

According to psychology and sociology teacher Katelyn Blanken, she has not allowed students to use Chromebooks during certain weeks, such as during March Madness, because she knows that the internet will distract certain students.

Furthermore, Blanken has noticed worse test scores in AP Psychology compared to last year, and she believes that Chromebook misusage is a factor involved in this.

While many believe that Chromebooks allow students to access files and take notes more easily, they really serve as nothing more than distractions to students, since any website can be accessed on them.

It is imperative that website access on Chromebooks is restricted to ensure that students are not distracted during class. However, it should still be encouraged by teachers to still take notes by hand, as in this way they will better absorb the information and perform better grade wise.