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. The report, which compares key opportunities and challenges in mobile device usage among K-12 students, finds that with this widespread adoption, more schools and school districts are considering the incorporation of mobile devices into instruction.
While school and district administrators historically have been reluctant to allow students to use mobile devices at school, the report found that 27 percent of administrators are now exploring the idea. Parental approval of smartphone usage is also increasing with 62 percent of parents saying they would buy their child a mobile device if it would be used for academic purposes.
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. This special report on mobile learning examines the Speak Up 2011 national findings to present a perspective on the role of mobile devices within K-12 education.
While administrators’ interest is growing in the usage of mobile devices in school, they still struggle with key concerns. 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. 75 percent of teachers cited student distraction as their top concern of mobile use in the classroom.