Associations between technology use and academic performance of children in a high educational technology school
ISPAH ePoster Library. Straker L. Oct 15, 2018; 225228
Prof. Leon Straker
Prof. Leon Straker
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Abstract IntroductionTechnology use is a common sedentary behaviour for many children and has been linked to poor physical and mental health outcomes. Thus, some public health guidelines recommend minimising screen use in general or for leisure purposes. However, many schools now require tablet or laptop computer use for school activities, to develop digital literacy. The impact of technology on child health and academic performance likely varies with both the device and the purpose of use. To help inform guidelines on appropriate use of technology by children this study examined the association between technology use (by specific device and purpose) and academic performance.MethodsA school with well-developed technology practices was selected. Children from school grades 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 (ages 10 to 19; 49.6 % female; n=924) completed the TechU-Q online survey during class. The frequency and duration of the use of various devices (TV, laptop, tablet, mobile phone, electronic games) and purpose of use (homework, social, watching videos, playing games) were collected. School subject scores were combined into an academic index, weighted to reflect class and subject level differences.ResultsGreater total technology use associated with poorer academic performance (β -0.5, 95%CI: -0.8, -0.2, p<.001), and this association was evident for all devices and for each purpose, except laptop and tablet use for homework.ConclusionWhilst technology is being provided to children by parents and schools to enhance academic performance, most technology use is associated with poorer academic performance. External funding details N/A
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