Mobile learning is a hot topic right now, with great expectations from advocates that mobile devices could transform education, engage students and personalize learning.
The reality is a more nuanced—and less homogenous—story. How parents perceive the value of mobile devices, how they see their children actually using family-owned mobiles for productive (and not so productive) purposes, and what parents think of the possibilities, is a tale of both abundant potential and missed opportunities for mobile learning. And parent perceptions matter. Their support and influence can smooth the way for educational technology in schools and help overcome the limitations of school coffers, without which digital initiatives can stall.
Living and Learning with Mobile Devices, a report by Grunwald Associates and the Learning First Alliance, with generous support from AT&T, highlights the perceptions of parents of a mobile generation, from preschoolers through high school-age students. The findings are visualized below.
Given schools’ increasing interest in engaging students with mobile learning—during and beyond the school day—and in “bring your own device” (BYOD) models, parents more than ever could be key partners in contributing to this new frontier in learning.