Teaching

Middle Schoolers Turning on Smartphones

By Mike Bock — February 06, 2013 1 min read

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

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