Electronic devices have the strong potential to distract students (and employees, for that matter) from getting work done, whether it involves gaming, browsing the web, or watching videos.
But a new survey from Poll Position found that nearly half of American adults (47 percent) think that gadgets (mobile devices, in particular, as cited in the survey, such as e-readers, tablets and smartphones) have more of a positive impact upon the education of youth in America.
Tablets, in particular, have been found to serve a useful purpose here, whether it be learning games for younger kids or now the pending revolution of the textbook market. (Not to mention it's a lot easier to carry around a single tablet than a ton of heavy schoolbooks.)
E-readers certainly have a place still for students in high school or college, and it helps for tighter budgets that they're a lot cheaper than tablets. Chromebooks also have seem to found a niche market in the education sector.
Nevertheless, at least one-third of American adults argued that the growing number of devices would have a negative effect, while 21 percent are still on the fence.
Of course, these numbers change a bit when you break them down by demographics. For example, 50 percent of those in the 18-29 year old age group see a positive effect, and 54 percent of participants in the 30-44 age group also believe in the positive effects of electronic devices in schools.
For reference, the survey is designed to be a representative sampling of all American adults and is based upon the responses of 1,145 registered voters nationwide polled via telephone on January 17.