Verizon Foundation Report Compares Students' Mobile Access at Home and School

RESEARCH SHOWS BYOD A MIXED BAG: Here's a bit of insightful data on middle schooler access to mobile devices from the Verizon Foundation. It appears that for all the talk of BYOD in schools, there's still plenty of work to be done: More than half of the 1,000 students surveyed are "not allowed to use laptops in the classroom for learning purposes," while two-thirds can't use tablets and a whopping 88% are banned from using smartphones in school.

At home is a different story. The gist of the report suggests that at least a third of 6th, 7th and 8th graders regularly use mobile devices to do their homework; they just can't use the devices in class. Laptops are still prevalent: of students who use devices to do their homework, about 60% use laptops. Hispanic students had the highest percent of smartphone use (49%).

Some claims may raise a few eyebrows: "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." That seems to be a stretch. Easier to believe: the kids like their devices. More than half using technology says it makes them feel "smart," "excited," "happy." We can't help but wonder: how many would have also checked "distracted," "twitchy" or "hungry," if given a chance.   

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