In "Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning" we cite a number of studies regarding the prevalence of cell phones and the trend toward kids getting phones at younger ages. In fact, we encouraged our publisher to label the book for grades 5-12, when they had originally used 7-12. A new independent study conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs confirms what we were already seeing in regard to cell phones. Most notably:
Kids start receiving mobile phones in grade school
- Kids receive their first mobile phone, on average, at age 12.1.
- Of the kids who have a mobile phone, 34% have a smartphone.
Mobile phones are a kid's go-to device
- If kids had to choose one technology device for the rest of their lives, the majority say they would choose a mobile phone above all else — computer, television, tablet.
- 75% of kids think their friends are addicted to phones.
Another great aspect to this study addresses phones and rules. In "Teaching Generation Text" we share ways to manage phones effectively once they are accepted as a learning tool. Bans don't work as many frustrated school staff are realizing. The study supports our philosophy that embracing phones and managing them is much more effective than the cat and mouse game of banning them. The question addresses parents, but the idea of rules with phones applies to schools as well. This study found that:
Kids are willing to accept rules
- 90% of kids think it's OK for parents to set rules on how kids can and cannot use the phone.
- 66% of kids have rules at home about use of their phone; 92% of these kids think they are fair — and this is consistent across age groups and types of phone (i.e., mobile phone and smartphone).
For ideas for classroom management, lesson plans, responsible use, safety, permissions forms, and much, much more in our book go to Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning.
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