Today's schoolchildren will flood BYOD ranks, study reveals

If you thought bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs were popular with today's workers, just wait. New research shows virtually all middle school and high school students in this country now have access to mobile devices, and two-thirds supply their own devices for schoolwork.

That is the finding of new research in the report "The New Digital Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students' Activities and Aspirations." The report was issued by Project Tomorrow in an event that took place this week in Washington, D.C.

According to an article at THE Journal, the report is part of Project Tomorrow's annual Speak Up Survey, "which to date has polled some 3.4 million students, teachers, administrators and parents on the use of technology in education." The article notes that the latest survey was conducted in the last quarter of 2013 and used in conjunction with a congressional hearing this week.

The survey reveals near ubiquitous use of mobile devices by students. Consider:

  • 89 percent of high school students (grades 9-12) have access to smartphones

  • 73 percent of middle school students (grades 6-8) have access to smartphones

  • 66 percent of students on both groups (grades 6-12) have access to laptops

  • 61 percent of middle school students have access to tablets

  • 50 percent of high school students have access to tablets

  • 48 percent of middle school students have access to digital readers

  • 39 percent of high school students have access to digital readers

As impressive as those numbers may be, the report also finds significant penetration of mobile devices in the primary grades of America's schools.

  • 50 percent of students in grades 3-5 have access to a smartphone

  • 62 percent of students in grades 3-5 have access to a laptop

  • 58 percent of students in grades 3-5 have access to a tablet

  • 39 percent of students in grades 3-5 have access to a digital reader

Not surprisingly, the numbers drop for the lower grades in schools.

  • 41 percent of students in grades K-2 have access to laptops or tablets

  • 21 percent of students in grades K-2 have access to smartphones

  • 18 percent of students in grades K-2 have access to digital readers

"In many ways, the new gateway to self-initiated technology use for schoolwork is the mobile device," the report notes. "Increasingly, students have access to tablets and laptops to use both at school and at home for learning purposes. In some cases, parents are providing these devices to enable their children to have access to high quality digital content and be able to extend the learning process beyond the school day."

For more:
- check out the Project Tomorrow website
- read THE Journal article

Related Articles:
Privacy concerns squelch student data/edtech efforts [FierceBigData]
Data collection – good or evil in the classroom? [FierceBigData]
Digital donation project bolsters needy schools, classrooms [FierceCIO]