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Smartphones can hamper learning
Smartphones can hamper learning © iStock

Smartphones can hamper learning

Think a smartphone can make you smarter? Not necessarily.

In a 1-year study by researchers at Rice University and the U.S. Air Force, 1st-time users of smartphones -- in this case, iPhones -- thought the devices would contribute to better grades in college. However, researchers discovered that the students wound up concluding the opposite was true. One of the researchers says access to a smartphone actually might be detrimental to the learning process.

Meanwhile, a study by researchers at the London School of Economics showed that students' test scores rose slightly in British schools where smartphones and other mobile phones had been banned compared with schools without such prohibitions.

"Mobile phones can be a source of great disruption in workplaces and classrooms, as they provide individuals with access to texting, games, social media and the Internet," the researchers wrote. "Given these features, mobile phones have the potential to reduce the attention students pay to classes and can therefore be detrimental to learning."

Roberts, the Baylor professor, warns that smartphones can be a classroom distraction and even might prompt some students to lean on them as crutches for cheating.

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