Study shows that students purchase MacBooks to stealthily text in class
Student browsing dank memes as his professor provides midterm study guide.Image By: Image Courtesy of Creative Commons - Frank Schulenburg
Apple has developed an information network, known as iCloud, over which Macbooks and iPhones can be paired to share information. A variety of built-in applications in the operating systems of Macbooks allow users to read and reply to text messages, sent to their iPhones, on their Macbooks.
The experiment tested 200 students, each of which was given a Macbook and an iPhone. Half of the students were sent to a lecture where the instructor was teaching primarily from the front of the classroom, while the other half were sent to a lecture where the instructor actively surveyed the room.
There were a variety of traps instructors were given to use to determine if students were paying attention, such as showing the same lecture slide twice to see if students copied the same information twice, or slipping key phrases into their lectures that would trigger a reaction. The results showed that not only did students consistently copy identical lecture notes twice, they paid no attention to the buzz phrases used by instructors.
As the DoIT Tech Center continues to sponsor Apple products and sell them to students campus-wide, the question must be asked. What is the effect of this distracting software on the study patterns of various students? Professor Shouldbee Obvious of the Journalism School, the department that conducted the research, went into detail about the findings of the study.
“Between the two groups of students, both seemed to do the exact same thing,” Professor Obvious elaborated. “No matter where the instructor was or how important the subject matter of the course was, all the students remained on the texting app throughout lecture. Some of them were so distracted, they copied the same lecture slide into their notes more than four times. We discovered that if you give students a perfectly inconspicuous way to be distracted throughout the entire class and avoid retaining any useful information that they pay lots of money to learn, they’ll almost always take it.”
As the evidence against the productivity of being able to access text messaging from a laptop mounts appallingly quick, the practicality of allowing laptops in classrooms must be questioned; when did students lose the incentive to pay attention?