The Whole World in Their Hands


Apparently laptops in the classroom are yesterday's news. A new study by Educause: Center for Applied Research (ECAR) finds that by the end of 2011 the sales of smartphones and other hand held devices will surpass the sales of computers. ECAR surveyed 30,616 students and found 51.2% owned an Internet capable handheld device. Of those students, 32.2% used these devices for non-course activities during the class. (I doubt this finding will surprise any college professor!)

The top Internet activities performed from a handheld device were; checking information such as news, weather, and sports (76.7%); using e-mail (75.1%) and utilizing social networking websites (62.5%). Almost 75% of respondents who currently own handheld devices expected their use to increase or greatly increase in the next three years.

The survey also found student desktop computer ownership has decreased from 71.0% to 44.0% in the past four years. Laptop ownership increased from 65.4% to 88.3% during the same time period.

For the first time, the ECAR 2009 student survey asked, "How should your institution first notify you of a campus emergency?" The results found 55.3% of students surveyed chose text-messaging. Far fewer survey participants chose e-mail, voice telephone or a public address system.

You can read the full study here.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Greta Cunningham published on November 1, 2010 10:34 AM.

Happy World Usability Day! was the previous entry in this blog.

Want to help students succeed? The answer can be found online. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.