New National Survey Finds That More Than a Third of Middle School Students Use Mobile Devices for Homework; Yet Mobile-Device

New National Survey Finds That More Than a Third of Middle School Students Use
  Mobile Devices for Homework; Yet Mobile-Device Use Is Still Not Common In

MIT's Center for Mobile Learning at the Media Lab and Verizon Foundation Join
Forces to Strengthen Student Engagement in STEM Through the Use of Mobile

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Nov. 28, 2012

NEW YORK, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More than one in three middle school
students are using mobile devices to complete homework, and more of those who
use these devices for learning in the classroom express a strong interest in
science, technology and math than those who do not, according to a new
national survey.

The survey, conducted by TRU and commissioned by the Verizon Foundation, also
found that more than 66 percent of students are not allowed to use a tablet
for learning purposes in the classroom, and 88 percent are not allowed to use
a smartphone.

The findings highlight the gap that exists between how children want to learn
and the restrictions they face in the classroom due to a variety of factors
that the Verizon Foundation and other national organizations concerned with
increasing student access to mobile technology for learning are working to

"Our research supports the fact that mobile technology can inspire and engage
students today," said Rose Stuckey Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation.
"We need to meet children where they are and leverage their use of mobile
devices to increase their interest in STEM – especially since STEM jobs are
increasing at three times the rate of jobs in other fields, and the number of
graduates in the US earning degrees in STEM is decreasing."

Other key findings of the survey include:

  oFor the first time, the survey's respondents indicated that they were
    using mobile devices for homework. In previous surveys, the respondents
    said they were using the devices largely for entertainment and to keep in
    touch with others.
  oMore Hispanic (49 percent) and African-American (42 percent) middle school
    students are using their smartphones for homework than Caucasian students
    (36 percent).
  oSmartphone use for homework also crosses income levels, with 29 percent of
    the students from the lowest-income households reporting smartphone usage
    to do their homework assignments.

The full report of the survey results can be found at

Transforming STEM Education Through Technology

To tap into students' interest in mobile technology as a tool for learning,
the Technology Student Association and the Verizon Foundation partnered to
launch the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. This national student
competition encourages middle and high school students, working in teams with
a faculty advisor, to conceptualize a mobile application that incorporates
STEM and addresses a real problem or issue in their schools or communities.

Ten winning teams – five from middle schools and five from high schools – will
be selected. These team members and their advisors will receive in-person,
hands-on training and ongoing virtual support from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology's Center for Mobile Learning at the Media Lab to help build
their apps using MIT's App Inventor and bring them to the marketplace.
Winning team members will also receive Samsung Galaxy Tabs and their schools
will receive $10,000 cash grants from the Verizon Foundation to enhance STEM

MIT also will assist in judging the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, along
with an expert panel of judges from Samsung, Vodafone, National Geographic,
New York Hall of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of
Science, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the National
Academy Foundation.

Middle school and high school student teams can submit their app design
concepts from Dec. 1 through Jan. 18, 2013. More information is available at

Survey Methodology

Verizon Foundation commissioned TRU to conduct quantitative research on middle
school students' use of technology. TRU conducted 1,000 online interviews
among sixth- to eighth-grade students, ages 11-14, yielding a margin of error
of + 3.0 percentage points. The interviews were conducted from Oct. 4 through
Oct. 12, 2012. The sample of 1,000 students was broken out as follows: 332
sixth graders (166 males and 166 females); 332 seventh graders (166 males and
166 females); and 336 eighth graders (167 males and 169 females). A quota was
also set to ensure a minimum of 200 respondents with a household income of
$25,000 or less. The final total for this quota is n=273. Unless otherwise
noted, all reported data is based on a statistically reliable base size of
n=100 or greater.

About TRU

TRU is the global leader in youth research and insights, focusing on tweens,
teens and twenty-somethings. For more than 25 years, TRU has provided the
insights that have helped many of the world's most successful companies and
organizations develop meaningful connections with young people. As an advocate
for young people, TRU has provided critical direction for many of the nation's
most prominent and successful social-marketing campaigns, helping to keep
young people safe and healthy. TRU's work has made a difference – from being
put to use at the grass-roots level to being presented at the very highest
levels of government.

About the Verizon Foundation

The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the
company's innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education,
health care and energy management. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has
invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where
Verizon employees work and live. Verizon's employees are generous with their
donations and their time, having logged more than 6.2 million hours of service
to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information about
Verizon's philanthropic work, visit; or for regular
updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook (
and Twitter (

SOURCE Verizon

Contact: Ellen Yu, Verizon, +1-908-559-2818,; Amy
Terpeluk, Finn Partners, +1-917-826-2326,
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