Nearly all undergrads now own a smartphone

According to the Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) smartphone ownership amongst college undergrads is nearly ubiquitous. The ECAR 2017 Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology found that 97 percent of college students now own a smartphone. The vast majority of students are connected virtually anytime / anywhere. As far as using their devices for school: 78 percent said their smartphones are “moderately important to their academic success”.

How do they use their smartphones for academics?

According to a recent article in Campus Technology 67 percent of fully-online students use their smartphones for completing at lease some of their coursework, including accessing reading content, communicating with their professors and classmates, accessing video and slide presentations, etc.


Brooks, D. Christopher & Pomerantz, Jeffrey. (2017) ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2017. Educause Center for Analysis and Research.

Schaffhauser, Dian. (2018). Two-thirds of online students do some coursework on a mobile device. Campus Technology.

Additional resources:

Anderson, Monica & Jiang, Jingjing. (2018). Teens, social media & technology 2018. Pew Research Center.







Author: Bill Knapp

Supporting the college campus community in the selection, use, and application of technology for teaching and learning since 1997. Tweets @ITBill and blogs @

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