The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Soccer Moms Lead Tablet Buyers

As of May 2013, about 34% of all adults in the U.S. owned a tablet device, almost double the number from a year ago. The percentage comes from the spring phone survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which has been tracking tablet ownership since the release of the iPad.

It may be hard to believe that tablet ownership went from zero to more than a third of the total American adult population in just a few years. So who’s buying all those tablets? It turns out the typical purchaser is a female college graduate living in the surburbs, age 35-44, with a household income of at least $75,000.

But the telling characteristic of the average tablet owner is having a kid at home. In the last year, custodial parents of minor children became the fastest-growing tablet-owner demographic, jumping from 26% last spring to 50% in May.

The rise in tablet ownership is mirrored in the educational world as well. A Campus Technology article reported tablets represented 35% of all personal computing devices shipped to U.S. schools in 2012, almost twice as many as the preceding year. Obviously, both parents and school personnel see tablets as an important tool in youngsters’ learning.

However, the article noted, the boost in tablet purchases may be spurred mostly by manufacturers that have developed educational content for the devices and are willing to work directly with schools to fulfill their curriculum needs.

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