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. https://www.educause.edu/ecar/research-publications/ecar-study-of-undergraduate-students-and-information-technology/2017/introduction-and-key-findings
Schaffhauser, Dian. (2018). Two-thirds of online students do some coursework on a mobile device. Campus Technology. https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/06/19/two-thirds-of-online-students-do-some-coursework-on-a-mobile-device.aspx
Anderson, Monica & Jiang, Jingjing. (2018). Teens, social media & technology 2018. Pew Research Center. http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/05/31/teens-social-media-technology-2018/