A new study released on Thursday finds teachers are concerned that the amount and types of electronic media that children interact with at home may be harming their performance in the classroom.
Common Sense Media, a think tank focused on children's media use, polled 685 public and private elementary and high school classroom teachers on how children's increasing use of television, video games, texting, social networking, music, and other forms of media is affecting their performance in school.
The study found that 71 percent of teachers polled said students' media use hurts their attention spans in school, while 59 percent said students' use of entertainment media has also harmed their ability to communicate face to face. A slightly smaller amount, 58 percent, said they believe it's had a negative impact on their writing skills, according to the study conducted by Knowledge Networks May 5-17.
Nearly half of the teachers surveyed also said their students' use of media at home is hurting the quality of their homework. "Many teachers think students spend so much time with media that they neglect their homework and aren't prepared in class," according to the report, which noted that children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend more than seven-and-a-half hours a day using media for fun.
Elementary school teachers pointed to video games, television, and computer games as causing the most problems for their students, while teachers said middle and high school students are more negatively impacted by texting and social networking. Two-thirds of teachers also said they believe that entertainment media has a "very" or "somewhat" negative impact on students' sexualization.
Still, teachers did point to some benefits from students' increased use of entertainment media at home with 63 percent saying it has helped students find information more quickly and efficiently, while a minority, 34 percent, said they believe it has improved students' ability to multitask.
"We know that our children learn from the media they consume. This survey is yet another reminder of how critical it is to consistently guide our kids to make good media choices and balance the amount of time they spend with any media and all of their other activities," Common Sense Media founder and CEO James Steyer said in a statement.
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