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Multitasking As Major Source Of Distraction

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Besides those positive effects of technology on education, there are a few negative effects too. Nowadays, students became dependent on computers to complete their homework and assignment. They need network connection to the internet to surf for information. However, while they are surfing for useful information online, they tend to surf other irrelevant websites such as YouTube for entertainment. Students are also easily distracted by the power of social media by looking at their phones whenever receiving a notification from applications such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and many more. In a study conducted by students of Wilkes University (2011), 92% of students use their mobile devices to send text messages during class time.

Most of the students did so to fight boredom since they feel that lectures are not as interesting as the virtual world on mobile devices. In another study done by a student of University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2013), more than 80% of the respondents indicated that using their mobile devices for non-class purposes caused them to pay less attention in the classroom and it will also distract others in class.

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In a lecture hall, students are distracted when they see their classmates doing other activities instead of paying attention in class. Students tend to follow the bad examples than the good ones because to them the bad examples are more interesting to follow. The condition is getting worse with online learning due to the pandemic of COVID-19 since students are more easily distracted as lecturers do not keep an eye for them. Furthermore, by using laptops, computers, or mobile phones to attend classes, students may multitask by just having another tab for entertainment purposes.

For offline classes, lecturers may confiscate their mobile phones or point them out once finding out they are using their digital devices for other non-related purposes but for online classes, it is hard for lecturers to find out whether the student is paying attention or not. In a survey about multitasking (2003), it is found that students who multitask during class scored worse on a test compared to those who do not multitask. This is because students who do not multitask are able to pay full attention to the syllabus and absorb more information during class. Multitasking in class caused the attention to split from the academic side to the entertainment side. By splitting the attention, students will lose some important information when they are focusing on another side. Therefore, it is clear that technology usage in education will cause negative effects as it will distract student’s attention from lecture materials by multitasking during class.

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Multitasking As Major Source Of Distraction. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“Multitasking As Major Source Of Distraction.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
Multitasking As Major Source Of Distraction. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Sept. 2023].
Multitasking As Major Source Of Distraction [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2023 Sept 22]. Available from:
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