New research shows that using online social networks reduces academic achievement, while playing online games increases scores.
This is according to researcher Alberto Posso, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, who published his findings in a paper titled “Internet Usage and Educational Outcomes Among 15-Year-Old Australian Students”.
Children in rich countries are using the Internet for social networking and gaming at very high rates, he said.
To assess the impact of online gaming and social media on children’s academic performance, Posso measured their educational achievement in mathematics, reading, and science.
The analysis revealed that children who regularly use online social networks, such as Facebook, tend to obtain lower scores in math, reading, and science compared to students who never or hardly use these sites.
Conversely, the analysis shows that students who play online video games obtain higher scores on tests, all other things being equal.
“Gameplay appears to equip students to apply and sharpen knowledge learned in school by requiring them to solve a series of puzzles before moving to the next game level,” said Posso.