School computer use and student academic performance in secondary schools

Letao Sun, Kelly D. Bradley, Michael D. Toland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the influence of school computer use frequency on the test scores of 15year-old students in the United States using data from the 2003 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). A MANCOVA test found that students who had never used a computer at school had the lowest performance among all comparison groups, after controlling for students' socioeconomic status. Surprisingly, students who used the computer almost every day had lower achievement scores than students who used computers in moderate or low frequencies. These findings suggest that frequency of computer use may not be an adequate indicator of academic achievement. Results lead to the discussion of educational input aiming at promoting computer use at school as a tool for learning. A further study should be conducted to investigate the characteristics of students who use computers almost every day at school in order to interpret their lower achievements in math, science and reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-94
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Education Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Academic achievement
  • Computer use frequency
  • PISA
  • Secondary school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (all)
  • Education


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