In this blog post, we analyze an article featured in the Ball State University’s Daily News online website. The article titled “Ball State study shows college students’ smartphone usage rising” presents results on the growth of college students’ purchasing smartphones and main usage of their device
In the article, Ball State University associate professor in journalism, Michael Hanley, was quoted saying, “The use of smartphones has nearly doubled in one year, and along with it comes heavier internet use and an increased desire to use mobile commerce like coupons and incentives.” Between 2005-2010, Hanley conducted 11 surveys every 6 months on a total of 5,500 Ball State University students.
Let’s take a look at the survey results presented in the article:
1.) 99.8 percent of students surveyed own a cell phone.
2.) 49 percent increase in smartphone purchases in 2010, compared to 27 percent increase in February of 2009.
3.) 9/10 students with smartphones, access the internet from the device, compared to less than half with a feature phone.
4.) Text messaging has topped data usage, compared to e-mail and instant messaging. 97 percent send/recieve text, 30 percent e-mail, and 25 percent IM.
From the results of the survey, it’s safe to say that more college student’s will purchase smartphones. In the article, two students were asked what they used their phones for. One student said she uses her phone for texting, e-mailing, and Facebooking all on her device. Her statement supports the fourth survey result. The other student said the he uses his device mainly for entertainment. Besides texting and entertainment, educational use of smartphone device is becoming widely popular. In the article, Hanley said that while the general conception of smartphones is that they are designed for entertainment, more and more students are using their phones for educational purposes. One educator seems to think so, Steph S., a sophomore English, Media, Creative Writing, and Drama teacher tweets, ”@msolomonteacher so many of my students have smart phones with 3G. We might as well not ban it, embrace it, and teach them how to use it.”
Wanting to polish my interviewing skills and using some of the tips from “20 tips for better interviewing” by George McLachlan, I decided to conduct an interview. Mr. Peter Cruz is a 3rd year university student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He purchased an Android smartphone earlier this month. I asked him 3 simple questions: What do you mainly use your smartphone for? What do you least use your smartphone for? Do you use your device for school related work?
“I use my smartphone for entertainment and games. It comes in handy when I’m bored. I use my phone least to e-mail. As for school related work, I use my phone to read textbooks through the Kindle app.”
I was surprised at the flexibility and ease he gets by being able to access his textbooks in a device weighing less than 5 ounces.
The number of college students purchasing a smartphone will definitely not slow down or decrease anytime soon. The list of device usage will not only cover texting, entertainment, e-mailing and IM. I see a merging of Education and smart phone technology. “[Smartphones] and other technologies will keep evolving, with better applications for both educational and entertaining purposes,” says Michael Hanley. “The iPad and similar devices may change the way they communicate yet again as the technology evolves.” A possible blog topic for me perhaps?