GUEST POST: Student smartphone ownership survey – the results are staggering!

If there is anybody out there who still doubts the prevalence of smartphones and mobile devices among students, you might be surprised by the results of our recent ‘Student access to technology’ survey.

Among the schools surveyed, the lowest recorded smartphone ownership figure was 85% of 14-16 year olds.  In these schools, 7.5% of students don’t have any sort of phone, and around the same percentage have a non-smartphone. That’s without taking into consideration access to iPods and other mobile devices such as tablets and handheld gaming consoles.

Unlike the adult community, 14-16 year olds own a relatively high proportion of Blackberry devices, representing between 33% and 50% of devices for the age group, with iPhone ownership just a little behind. Blackberry’s prominence owes much to the popularity of BBM Messenger among teenagers, but with speculation about BBM’s launch on iOS and Android platforms by the end of this month , that picture may soon change. Throw tablet devices into the fray and the proportion shifts in Android’s favour.

Our data shows that student access to tablets, laptops and desktops outside school is very high, but frequently shared with other household members, which means they may not be available when the student wants them. Smartphones are usually 100% student-owned and kept with them at all times, typically being used to access the internet several times a day according to our research. We discovered more than 75% of students use their mobiles to access the internet at least as often as, if not more often than, via a desktop computer.


Equally interesting is that even in schools where mobile phones are currently banned, around 80% students say they use their phone for learning.  With no direction from teachers, that use is limited mainly to research (via Wikipedia and YouTube), as a calculator, or even to translate language homework!

In other words, the majority of students have the mobile technology and the willingness to use it, yet many school leaders are missing a massive opportunity to allow students to learn in their preferred native environment.

We’ll be publishing our findings in more detail in the near future, as our detailed research is in the early stages. To find out more, why not come to our workshop session on the Mobile Roadmap at the Frog 13?

Limited survey offer

We’re offering the first 10 schools to get in touch quoting frogblogsurvey a full, no-obligation survey and report on your students’ use of mobile technologies and devices. Simply call and your local GCSEPod associate will provide the tools and support you need to conduct this quick and important survey.

(0191) 211 999 or

Visit the GCSEPod stand to learn how we’ve pioneered a multi-device, multi-platform approach, and developed a massive bank of clear, concise and memory-efficient GCSE content, making it simple for teachers to harness almost any device for learning, both independently and in the classroom. Client schools range from those that ban mobiles completely to those with one to one tablet deployment; from those with top end wireless networks to those with none.

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2 Responses to GUEST POST: Student smartphone ownership survey – the results are staggering!

  1. In that survey, I wonder how clear was the definition of ‘smartphone’. One school I spoke to recently discovered that because children didn’t fully understand the term, they had to run their own survey again. The lesson is, it’s not enough just to say, ‘Do you have a smartphone’. But I guess you had all that covered.


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