Learning: Video Games Facilitate It, Social Media Inhibits It
According to a study conducted by Alberto Posso, a professor at Austrailia's RMIT University, analyzing the impact of social media/internet usage or video games can have on grades, students who spend their time playing online video games have higher grade point averages (GPA) than those who frequent social media. The study was conducted in Australia, where 97% of adolescents aged 15-17 report frequently going online, higher than either the United States at 93% or Europe at 86%.
Posso honed in on 15-year-old candidates, saying that studies using older age groups were flawed. For example, a college student will have a much better balance between work and leisure because they've acquired life-skills over time; when Stollak, Vandenberg, Burklund, and Weiss (2011) concluded that American university students' GPA's were not affected by social sites, it was likely due to better preparedness. Using that line of reasoning, the 12,000 candidates Posso used in his research were from a narrow age group.
Posso's study was done in 2016, but the data he used from the OECD's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) was dated 2012. PISA gathers information about international academic standards by testing for competency through the random distribution of surveys to schools. Along with things related to academia, PISA also collects data on time spent on social networks and games. How convenient!
Type of game factors into this result as certain ones, like strategy and adventure games, "build computer literacy, enhancing their ability to read and visualize images in three-dimensional space, while learning how to deal with multiple images simultaneously, which is assumed to lead to better academic performance" (Posso, 2016).
A Brief SummaryPosso found that students who regularly dedicated time to social networks had lower scores in maths, reading, and science in comparison to students who never use such sites. [Sidenote: Realistically, there are a very small handful of students who don't use social media sites in 2016. Let's just state that outright.] On the other hand, students who play online video games had higher scores on PISA tests and had better scores in maths, reading, and science. Potentially, video-gaming students could attribute their scores to challenges in-game, as said by Gee (2014) and McCreery (2008) who "argued that video games, particularly massive multiplayer online games, foster a range of skills that promote higher order thinking, which could potentially lead to improvements in math and literacy" (Posso 2016).
Final ThoughtsTake this with a grain of salt. Data used in the study was gathered in 2012. In using that data, Posso really shot himself in the foot. The world has progressed exponentially since then; I mean, just look at our gif game nowadays (#gifgamestrong). Anything before 2013 is ancient considering the rate at which technology advances and habits form.
By today's standards, the numbers for time spent on either video games or social media would be much higher. Seeing as people can adopt to a changing landscape from an early age and with the way that the internet has become ingrained in our society, the number of children whose grades are suffering from social media use has likely gone down. Humans learn to adapt.
Mashable didn't much care for Posso's vibe here, getting a couple outside source to critically analyze his case study. Regardless, the merits of his work are worth looking over.
Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver). Follow her @Songbird_Jacqui
Learning: Video Games Facilitate It, Social Media Inhibits It Reviewed by Jacqueline Litvan on Monday, August 22, 2016 Rating: