Online Gaming Boosts Science, Math Grades; Facebook No Academic Advantage?

First Posted: Aug 10, 2016 06:20 AM EDT

Online gaming is suggested to boost teenagers' school grades according to a new research from RMIT. However, the study also found that students who regularly visit Facebook or chat sites are more likely to fall behind in Math, Science and reading.

Associate Professor Alberto Posso from RMIT's School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, believes that online gaming allows students to apply and sharpen what they learned in school. He revealed that students who play online games regularly scored 15 points above average in Math and 17 points above average in Science, The Guardian reported.

Posso also said that online gaming requires solving puzzles to level up. It involves using some of general knowledge and skills in maths, science and reading, all of which are being taught in school during the day. Posso went on to suggest that popular video games, those that are not violent, should be incorporated by teachers into teaching.

Meanwhile, aside from online gaming, teenagers who use Facebook or chat everyday scored 20 points lower in Math than students who never used social media. Posso discussed that students lose time that could be spent on studies when they are regularly using social media. However, the findings may also indicate that these students are struggling with Math, Science and reading so they go online instead, ABC reported.

Posso suggested to blend the use of Facebook into classes to help students who are engaged with it. It is important to recognize other factors that could impose a major impact on teenagers' progress according to Posso.

The study used the testing results collected by Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). PISA conducted examinations to more than 12,000 15-year-old Australians. They were given tests in Math, Science and reading. Their online gaming activities and other online use were also surveyed. While online gaming and the use of social media may affect students' learning, the most important step is for schools to determine the main drivers of educational underperformance according to the study.

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