Infrastructure

Smartphones Evolve Into Popular Tool for High Schoolers

By Sean Cavanagh — June 11, 2013 1 min read

A new nationwide survey reveals the extent to which mobile devices have become an inextricable part of students’ and families’ lives—while also indicating that parents see potential benefits, and drawbacks, to those technology tools.

By the time they enter high school, 51 percent of all students are carrying a smartphone to school with them every day, the survey of parents shows. Nearly a quarter of all students in K-12, overall, are doing so, while 8 percent of students in grades 3-5 are bringing a smartphone to school.

It’s unclear, however, whether that tech usage results in benefits for students during the school day. Just 16 percent of all K-12 parents say their children’s schools require students to use family-owned devices in classrooms.

Family Technology Ownership

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Source: Grunwald Associates LLC

Nearly the same portion of parents, 17 percent, say their children’s school requires students to use at least one portable device or mobile device in school.

Those results suggest that “there are a significant portion of mobile devices that are just being turned off when students get to school, or are being used under the radar,” Peter Grunwald, the president of Grunwald Associates LLC, told Education Week. His organization conducted the survey of parents, in coordination with the Learning First Alliance.

The survey found that parents were largely optimistic about the potential academic benefits of mobile devices. But they were also cautious about the pitfalls that come with using those tools.

A version of this article appeared in the June 12, 2013 edition of Digital Directions as Smartphones Evolve Into Popular Tool for High Schoolers

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