Internet Use May Raise GPA

By: Tonya Mead, CFE, PI, MBA, MA Educational Psychology

Even though children and teens may be easily exploited through phishing, parents receive persuasive information from academia touting the benefits of internet use. For instance, some researchers suggest that the internet use can enhance the academic performance of children who are slow to progress academically and are from poor socio-economic backgrounds [1].

Children who spent more time online were also ‘spending more time reading compared with their unconnected peers.’  The authors found that as web pages are heavily text based, children who were searching the web were reading more. Thus, they reasoned that more time spent reading accounts for improved performance on standardized tests of reading and higher GPAs. Findings were similar regardless as to purpose of the web search for information:

  1. to assist with a research project at school, or
  2. to find information about teen celebrities, a personal interest or a hobby.

Additional research is needed to determine whether internet usage has similar or no effect for middle or upper middle class students who are performing at the average or above average level.


Jackson, L.A., Eye A. von, Barbatsis, G. Biocca, F. Fitzgerald, H.E. & Zhao, Y. (2004). The social impact of Internet use on the other side of the digital divide.  Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, 47(7), 43-47.

Tonya J. Mead, CFE, PI, MBA, MA, Certified K-12 Administrator and School Psychologist is author of Fraud in Education: Beyond the Wrong Answer and president of Shared Knowledge, LLC