Classroom Technology Report Roundup

Survey: Students’ Mobile-Device Use Rising

By Benjamin Herold — September 16, 2014 1 min read
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A growing number of U.S. students regularly use laptops, tablets, and smartphones for schoolwork, but just one in six attends a school that provides all students with their own such mobile devices.

The results are part of a newly released study from Pearson, an education publisher headquartered in London and New York. The study is based on a survey of 2,252 public, private, and home-schooled students in grades 5-12 in February and March 2013.

The survey shows divergent trends in the types of devices favored by elementary, middle, and high school students. Younger students use tablets more often than older ones: Nearly two-thirds of elementary students use such a device regularly, compared with 42 percent of high school students, who are more likely to own and use smartphones.

Eighty-six percent of high school students use a laptop, notebook, or Chromebook at least a few times per month for schoolwork, compared with 77 percent of middle school students and 72 percent of elementary students. Sixty-two percent of high school students use smartphones for schoolwork at least a few times per month, compared with 40 percent of middle school students and 28 percent of those in elementary school. Two-thirds of students use a laptop/notebook/Chromebook, smartphone, or tablet in school daily.

But the most common venue for such technology usage remains the computer lab, followed closely by shared in-class sets of devices—especially so for elementary students, 74 percent of whom said that is how they access school devices.

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A version of this article appeared in the September 17, 2014 edition of Education Week as Survey: Students’ Mobile-Device Use Rising

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