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Mobile Learning Snapshot: How Students Use Mobile Devices for Learning, June 2018


Student access to mobile devices ( not school provided)  

Smartphone Tablet Laptop Digital Reader Smartwatch
Grade 9-12 Students 91% 39% 54% 13% 12%
Grade 6-8 Students 79% 55% 48% 14% 15%
Grade 3-5 Students 50% 57% 35% 15%  
Grade K-2 Students 35% 53% 32% 10%  

Can Students use their own devices at school to help with schoolwork?
Here’s what technology leaders said about student access in 2012 and in 2017.

Policies regarding BYOD Technology leaders in 2017 Technology leaders in 2012
Students cannot use their own devices at school 27% 35%
It is up to the teacher in the classroom if students can use their own devices  41% 36%
It is up to the principal if students can use their own devices in class 24% 24%
School provides devices so students don’t need to use their own 35% 20%

39% of students say not being able to use their own mobile devices at school is an obstacle to technology use. 46% said the same in 2012.

91% of district administrators say it is important for students to access mobile devices at school to support learning. 61% say it is extremely important.

Types of mobile learning programs are in place today, per principals

  1. 68% say students have periodic access to devices in class
  2. 60% say students assigned a mobile device to use at school
  3. 34% say students assigned a mobile device to use at school & home

49% of the principals say they are already seeing positive academic results when they assign devices to student to use exclusively at school
26% of technology leaders say they anticipate high growth over the next 2 years in the programs giving students a device to use at school and at home

Parents want students to use school-provided mobile devices

⅓ of parents vote for the school-provided model - their top choice

Parent in Urban communities Parents in Suburban communities Parents in Rural communities Parents – K-2 Parents – Gr 3-5 Parents – Gr 6-8 Parents – Gr 9-12
33% 37% 41% 32% 36% 41% 40%

Learning behaviors are changing as a result of mobile availability

Learning behaviors HS students with device HS students without
Search for info online 74% 65%
Email teachers with questions 59% 42%
Take photos of assignments or textbook pages 54% 42%
Get online reminders about tests or project due dates 53% 39%
Text classmates to ask about schoolwork  45% 38%
Read online books or articles 43% 32%
Watch videos to learn how to do something 38% 28%
Text their teachers with questions 20% 14%

Teachers value the use of mobile devices for impact on learning
Top 5 ways mobile learning is having a strong impact on student learning: 

  1. Students have the ability to explore topics in more depth when they have a mobile device to use
  2. Students have greater access to online content and resources
  3. Students are more engaged in the learning process
  4. Learning is more personalized for the student
  5. Students are developing stronger information and media literacy skills

SOURCE: Speak Up Research Initiative, 2017-18 Findings - the results of the authentic, unfiltered views of 406,779 K-12 students, parents, and educators from around the world. Speak Up is an annual research initiative of Project Tomorrow, a global nonprofit organization. Surveys were open from October 2017 through January 2018. Learn more about Speak Up and other research findings from Project Tomorrow at tomorrow.org. Qualcomm® Wireless ReachTM is a strategic initiative that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. Wireless Reach invests in programs that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability.