Mobile devices may become a learning tool in many schools as more and more students gain access to smartphones and tablets, according to a new report.
According to a mobile learning report released today from Blackboard Inc. and Project Tomorrow, nearly 50 percent of high schoolers and 40 percent of middle schoolers now own or have access to a smartphone or tablet, marking a 400 percent increase since 2007.
That is such widespread adoption that more than a quarter of school administrators say they are exploring the idea of incorporating mobile devices into instruction.
If they do, that will likely lead to even more parents providing students with a smartphone or tablet. According to the report, 62 percent of parents say 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.
“We found nearly 90 percent of parents say that the effective implementation of technology in instruction will positively impact their child’s future. This growing understanding has allowed for an increase in the development of personalized education and a more sophisticated use of technology both in and outside of the classroom.”
“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 CTO/CIO who participated in the survey.
There are barriers to greater use of mobile in schools though.
The report found that nearly half of principals identify teachers who are not trained in how to use mobile devices for instruction as the number one barrier. Seventy-five percent of teachers cited student distraction as their top concern of mobile use in the classroom.
The findings are included in Learning in the 21st Century: Mobile Devices + Social Media = Personalized Learning, which tracks the interest and growth in emerging technologies.
- Parents want to see more use of mobile devices in schools
- Teachers see digital resources as critical to maximize learning
- New electronic gadgets on back-to-school shopping lists
- Brands have “incredible opportunity” to reach parents via mobile
- Tablet & smartphones generating strong ad engagement
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