Internet access spending improves academic outcomes: Study

Spending more time on Internet improved academic performance and also led to more disciplinary problems among students, said a US-based study.

The study published in the Journal of Marketing Research indicated that it also led to an improvement in commended performance in math, reading, writing and social studies.

Interestingly, the researchers noted these improvements were stronger for students who lived in counties with greater internet access.

“Investments in internet access provide clear and meaningful academic benefits yet schools need to implement policies to address increased disciplinary issues such as cyberbullying,” said researcher Vikas Mittal, Professor at Rice University in the US.

For the study, the team created a multiyear dataset (2000-14) of 1,243 school districts representing more than 9,000 Texas public schools.

The team measured internet access spending, 11 academic performance indicators and 47 types of school disciplinary problems.

It used econometric techniques to develop causal estimates linking internet access spending to academic performance and disciplinary problems.

Using student earning, the researchers calculated the economic impact of increased annual internet spending.

The team also calculated how much economic benefit a school district’s internet access would bring students during their lifetimes.

It found that a $600,000 increase in annual internet access spending produces a financial gain of nearly $820,000 to $1.8 million per school district, together with losses from disciplinary problems totaling $25,800 to $53,440.