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Technology addiction disrupts teenage learning

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Technology addiction amongst teenagers is having a disruptive effect on their learning, according to new research published by Cranfield School of Management. Over a third (39.3%) of 11 18 year olds surveyed admitted that text shortcuts damaged the quality of their written English, particularly in terms of spelling.

Commenting on the results, Andrew Kakabadse, Professor of International Management Development at Cranfield School of Management said: "Our research shows that technology obsession hinders spelling skills, implicitly encourages plagiarism, and disrupts classroom learning. Despite school policies restricting mobile phone usage, students use the phone frequently, with the majority making calls from the toilets. The mobile phone continues to be a prime channel of social communication during the school day."

The study also examined how different technologies were used in an education context. "Shockingly," said Professor Andrew Kakabadse, "a high proportion of teenagers (59.2%) admitted to inserting information straight from the internet into schoolwork, without actually reading or changing it. Almost a third (28.5%) deemed this as acceptable practice despite recognising that such behaviour is considered plagiarism."

The survey confirmed that access to technologies occurs at an early age with the emerging sequence being access to a computer before the age of eight, use of the internet between the ages of five and ten, use of a mobile phone between the ages of eight and ten and access to a social network between the ages of eleven and thirteen.

Over 60% of the respondents admitted to being "very" or "quite" addicted to the internet, while over 50% are addicted to their mobile phones. The report also revealed that students spend, on average, 1-2 hours a day on social network sites.

The full report is published by Cambridge-based Sigel Press as an electronic whitepaper download and is available at www.sigelpress.com.

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