The graph above is included in the highlights of the Pew Internet Project’s research related to mobile technology. The use of mobile technology has exploded over the past few years. Currently, 88% of American adults have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an e-book reader, and 19% have a tablet computer; about six in ten adults (63%) go online wirelessly with one of those devices.
Smartphones: Among cell phone owners, 53% own a smartphone as of February 2012. This means that 46% of all American adults own a smartphone. Those under the age of 45 – 71% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 now own a smartphone as do 67% of those ages 18-24 and 54% of those ages 35-44. Even among those with a household income of $30,000 or less, smartphone ownership rates for those ages 18-29 are equal to the national average. 49% of blacks and Latinos are smartphone users.
Tablets: The share of adults in the United States who own tablet computers nearly doubled from 10% to 19% in just one month, between mid-December and early January.
eReaders: 29% of Americans own at least one digital reading device.
Text Messenging: 73% of adult cell phone owners send and receive text messages (an average of 41.5 messages on a typical day). Cell phone owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day.
What About The Kids? If the use of mobile technologies is on a steady rise for adults, it makes me think about the use of mobile technology by K-12 students. According to the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, it’s expected that nearly all of the Class of 2015 will have smartphones by the time they graduate.
Mobile learning is here and it is impacting how students learn and how educators teach. Students are more technologically aware than ever before, and using mobile technology to learn is as natural a move and non-disruptive for them as it was for their parents to bring encyclopedias out of the library and into the home. The time is right for schools to encourage students to BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology)!