Middle School Students Use Mobile Devices to Complete HomeworkA new national survey, funded by the Verizon Foundation through TRU, found that about one in three students use a mobile device to complete their schoolwork at home. These devices include smartphones, laptop computers, and tablet computers. What is surprising is that the same students are not allowed to use their mobile devices in a schoolroom setting.

This is not a surprise since I know that, where I live, students are prohibited from using their own cellphones, laptops, or tablets in school. The theory supporting this ban, I believe, is that students could have access to non-approved applications or Internet sites. However, before we start to throw stones at all of the school districts that prohibit the use of mobile devices, we should examine how these student-owned devices could cause havoc in a school environment.

In most towns in the US, those who attend school come from various backgrounds and economic situations. Parents from more economically advantaged families may be able to provide their child with a high end laptop or tablet. Other parents may not be able to give their children with any type of laptop or tablet computer, no matter how low the cost is.

I am sure that we can all agree that learning would be improved if students were allowed access to a smartphone, laptop, or tablet computer, but these devices need to be provided by the school district for the students at no cost if any level of fairness is to be observed. While this mighty goal deserves consideration, one question remains: Where will these funds come from? Most towns, cities, states, and federal government budgets are in some type of crisis and do not have the funds to purchase these devices.

While the report claims that technology in the classroom would improve the studies of math and science, there is nothing in the report to suggest where the money is supposed to come from. We as a society have found ourselves in a situation where we have lofty ideals, but our pockets are empty to support these ideals. This would be a perfect time for companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others to step up and invest in the future of our youth.

These young people need to have the technology available to them — both in school and at home. Now we just need to find a way to provide this technology to all.

What do you think? How would you solve this problem?

Comments are welcome.

Source: Research on Mobile Technology

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by flickingerbrad