More students owning, using mobile devices

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Nearly half of high school students and 40 percent of middle schoolers own or have access to a smartphone or tablet, a U.S. survey found.

The findings of the survey by education technology firm Blackboard and the nonprofit Project Tomorrow represents a 400 percent increase since 2007.


The widespread adoption by students suggests more schools and school districts will be considering the incorporation of mobile devices into instruction, a Blackboard release said.

Sixty-two percent of parents surveyed said they would buy their child a mobile device if it would be used for academic purposes.

"Many parents, teachers and administrators are now mobile device users themselves, which has increased their appreciation and understanding for how these devices can support and enhance learning," said Julie Evans, chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow.

While school and district administrators have previously been reluctant to allow students to use mobile devices at school, the survey found 27 percent of administrators are now considering the idea.

"The prospect of a wireless device in every student's hand with real time assessment and feedback presents the potential for a sweeping paradigm shift to learner-centered education,"said a California school district chief technology officer who participated in the survey.


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