It’s that time of the year again when it’s impossible to miss those annoying back-to-school commercials. In the past, we at TheTelecomBlog have made an honest attempt of uncovering the various aspects of the use (rather overuse) of gadgets in schools and colleges.
Whether it’s the use of iPads or smartphones in classrooms or the overhyped back-to-school gadget frenzy, these are signs for every parent that their children, regardless of their age, need the latest and greatest technology to learn; a sentiment their children will likely echo.
Unsurprisingly, Mobilicity, supports this gadget frenzy among students. The upstart wireless carrier last week released new research findings pointing to the increasing role smartphones are playing in and out of the classroom. Dubbed the Mobile Student 2.0 Survey, the research commissioned by Mobilicity suggests that nearly two-thirds of students would use a mobile phone to conduct research anywhere.
Obviously, the carrier hasn’t paid any attention to the other side of the story – professors and parents alike are increasingly worried about students developing nomophobia - the fear of being without your cellphone.
None the less, the Mobilicity survey also suggests that nearly 46 per cent of the respondents would download mobile apps to help stay organized; 41 per cent would record lectures and tutorial sessions; and 42 per cent would coordinate school and social activities if they were a student. Moreover, the majority of Canadians (56 per cent) think that mobile phones are an invaluable tool for students. Mobilicity says the survey findings echo sentiments similar to those raised by Dr. Mark Federman, former Chief Strategist of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto.
Several professors such as Media professor Sidneyeve Matrix at Queen’s University have actually created specific apps for their classes. She claims that the app gives her students instant access to lecture notes, classroom slides, videos used in presentations, textbook reading guides, class schedules and webinars. While there’s no denying the benefits of smartphones in classrooms, it’s the side effects that are the real cause of concern.
Statistics suggest people between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most nomophobic, with 77 percent of respondents among the age group noting this fear. Unfortunate as it is, the rise of nomophobia among college-aged people has been propelled by exponential rise of smartphones on college campuses.
Mobilicity claims it’s enabling the Mobile Student 2.0 movement in Canada by removing the high costs typically associated with smartphone and data usage. The Mobilicity survey was conducted online July 9 and 10 and is weighted to be nationally representative. It’s considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.