In one of the most comprehensive studies of parents’ views on mobile devices in education, more than 50 percent of parents believe that schools should make more use of mobile devices in education and 32 percent agree that schools should require them in the classroom. These findings are from a new study of how parents perceive mobile learning and devices in and out of the classroom. The Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study was conducted by Grunwald Associates and the Learning First Alliance and underwritten by AT&T*.

The study found –

  • Parents recognize the benefits. Seventy-one percent of parents say mobile devices open up learning opportunities while, 62 percent say the devices benefit students’ learning and 59 percent say the devices engage students in the classroom.
  • Parents are ready for change. Forty-five percent of parents say they plan to buy, or have already bought, a mobile device to support their child’s learning.
  • Parents want to collaborate with educators. Forty-three percent of parents say they need help finding good educational apps for their children.

Mobile learning is approaching a tipping point as parents and educators recognize the potential of mobile technology in the classroom,” said Cheryl Scott Williams, Learning First Alliance Executive Director. “Now is the time for parents and teachers to join forces to shape what mobile learning will look like in and outside of the classroom.”

With students already carrying their own devices to school, widespread mobile learning could be on the horizon. The study found that one quarter of all K-12 students bring a smartphone to school every day – and by high school, more than half of all high-school students carry a smartphone on a daily basis. About one in six parents say that children are permitted to use their own mobile devices in the classroom – commonly known as a “bring your own device” policy.

 “The opportunity is ripe for mobile learning as students are now surrounded with technology, but the study does suggest there is an unmet desire for more learning and educational value from mobile devices, both at home and in school,” said Peter Grunwald, president of Grunwald Associates LLC.

Infographic: Parents' views on mobile learning

The Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study recommends that educators share information and advice with parents about how to make better use of mobile devices and apps for learning. Similarly, the study suggests industry and mobile learning advocates should work with parents and educators to identify educational apps and content. The full report is available free at

“Parents can be change agents in the school system. With the results of this study, educators know parents are on board with mobile learning, and their support can be enlisted to jumpstart ways to cultivate mobile learning,” said Kevin Carman, AT&T Marketing Director. “Likewise, we are committed to doing our part to help support educators and parents by providing mobile learning products and solutions that seamlessly function in the classroom and at home.”

Learn more about AT&T's education initiative.

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