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Virginia Journal of Education


NewsFronts



Study: Facebook Users
Have Lower GPAs

SAN DIEGO, CA—College students who are Facebook users may be having a lot of fun connecting in cyberspace, but a new study says they may not be doing their academic careers any favors. The study, conducted at Ohio State University, found that users of the social networking site tend to spend less time studying and have lower grade point averages than students who haven’t signed on to the site.

Researchers, in a survey of over 200 undergraduate and graduate students, found that Facebook users study an average of one to five hours per week; non-users spent 11 to 15 hours hitting the books. In addition, Facebook users in the study typically had GPAs between 3.0 and 3.5, while non-users earned GPAs of between 3.5 and 4.0. Despite these findings, more than three-quarters of Facebook users said that their time on the site didn’t interfere with their academics.

“We can’t say that the use of Facebook leads to lower grades and less studying,” says OSU researcher Aryn Karpinski, the study’s co-author, “but we did find a relationship there.”

Also, Karpinski says, “There’s a disconnect between students’ claim that Facebook use doesn’t impact their studies and our finding showing they had lower grades and spent less time studying.”
 
The OSU study found that 85 percent of undergraduate students had a Facebook account and only 52 percent of graduate students did.


More Than a Third of U.S. Teachers
to Retire in Four Years?

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The teacher shortage in the United States could grow significantly in the near future, according to a report by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, which anticipates that more than a third of the country’s 3.2 million teachers could retire over the next four years.

In addition to the number of retirements, NCTAF notes that the problem is worsened by a high attrition rate among beginning teachers, many of whom leave the field within their first five years because of difficult working conditions and low pay.

Several steps could ease the pressure, says the report, including altering state retirement systems to allow more veteran teachers to remain in the classroom longer and mentor young teachers, and restructuring working conditions to allow for more collaboration among teachers.

 


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