More material continues to be added to the debate over whether sites like Facebook help or hurt undergraduate students. Last month, preliminary research by a graduate student at Ohio State University caused a stir by suggesting that the use of social networking websites was somehow connected to lower college grades. Now, a new study published by researchers at Northwestern University, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania suggests that if anything, Facebook users have higher grades than students who do not use social networking sites.
While both studies are very preliminary, their findings have sparked a great deal of discussion and debate. Many professors and some students regard sites like Facebook as distractions from coursework and assaults on students' attention spans. Others see no harm and a great deal of benefit from being able to connect with peers and share ideas and information more easily online. Some instructors have even incorporated social networking into their curricula and have encouraged students to friend them online.
Social networking sites are becoming an increasingly large part of the lifestyle associated with attending college, and are increasingly being used as tools in college admissions, as well. Do you use any of these websites? Have you seen any connection between your internet habits and your grades?
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