Middle Schoolers Turning on Smartphones

By Mike Bock — February 06, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

More middle school students are using smartphones to do homework than ever, with 39 percent of them reporting that they use their phones to complete after-school assignments, according to a new survey commissioned by the Verizon Foundation. However, only 6 percent of students say they are allowed to use the devices in a classroom setting.

The survey also shows that smartphone use among middle school students largely transcends racial and socioeconomic boundaries, with 49 percent of Hispanic students, 42 percent of African-American students, and 36 percent of white students reporting that they use their smartphones for homework. In addition, 29 percent of the students from low-income households say they use smartphones to do homework.

Results from the survey, which conducted 1,000 online interviews with students in grades6-8, seem to indicate a reluctance among educators to incorporate smartphones into lesson plans, despite the increasing use of the devices among students.

The report says students who use laptops, tablets, or smartphones in the classroom are more likely to be interested in STEM courses.

Two thirds of students surveyed say laptops help with science and math courses.

“Teacher education and training on the effective integration of mobile technologies into instruction may provide significant benefits for all. Mobile-device usage in class appears to have the potential to sustain, if not increase, interest in STEM subjects as students progress into high school,” the report says.

A version of this article appeared in the February 06, 2013 edition of Digital Directions as Middle Schoolers Turning on Smartphones


Budget & Finance Webinar Leverage New Funding Sources with Data-Informed Practices
Address the whole child using data-informed practices, gain valuable insights, and learn strategies that can benefit your district.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
ChatGPT & Education: 8 Ways AI Improves Student Outcomes
Revolutionize student success! Don't miss our expert-led webinar demonstrating practical ways AI tools will elevate learning experiences.
Content provided by Inzata
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Tech Is Everywhere. But Is It Making Schools Better?
Join us for a lively discussion about the ways that technology is being used to improve schools and how it is falling short.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Letter to the Editor We Must Encourage Students to Communicate
In this letter, a curriculum developer discusses the importance of developing students speaking and listening skills.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Teaching The Concept of 'Looping' in Schools: Quiz Yourself
Take our short quiz to test your knowledge of 'looping' in schools.
1 min read
Image of a "looping" concept for classrooms.
PytyCzech and iStock/Getty
Teaching Quiz Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Student Engagement?
Answer 7 questions about student engagement.
Teaching Opinion The Key to Greater Creativity? A Simple Brainstorming Technique
When students think they’ve run out of ideas, take this step to help them push forward.
Adam Alter
1 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.