As I share "Pay Attention" with teachers around my district I am often confronted about the concept of using mobile phones for educational purposes. Almost without fail, some teacher will exclaim that "every student doesn't have access to a phone". Personally, I don't think every student needs access to their own mobile phone to make an assignment that uses them meaningful.
I'm wondering what mobile phone access is really like in the classrooms across the world. Marc Prensky claimed in 2005:
In the United States, the penetration of student mobile phones is 40% in many junior high schools and 75% in many high schools (NOP World 2005); according to a Student Monitor survey (as cited in Kinzie 2005), penetration is 90% in U.S. colleges...I think he's pretty close as far as US numbers go, but I'm wondering what numbers are like outside of the United States, and in rural areas inside of the United States. Nina Christou, from ESClub in Greece, sent me access numbers about her school yesterday in an email:
In some countries—including the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, and the Czech Republic—cell phone penetration is greater than 100%, which means that individuals own and use two or more of these devices (Borghese 2005; Agence France-Presse 2004). Cell phone penetration in Asia continues to climb: Hong Kong and Taiwan have already surpassed 100% according to one prominent survey (IT Facts 2004; Simon 2004), and several years ago, J@pan Inc magazine reported that more than 90% of Tokyo high schoolers carried mobile phones (2001).
All the kids have mobile phones now (and better ones than the teachers)... Greece is known as the leading country country in Europe for mobile phones but the last for the Internet, for the moment. We hope to change the latter.Because Prensky's numbers are relatively old (yes, two years is an eternity when we're dealing with technology), I want to conduct my own study - consequently, I need your input.
- What is mobile phone access like in your school?
- What percentage of students have access to mobile phones and would be willing to use them for school activities?
Thanks, in advance, for your input.