A Ball State University study found that just 29% of students on the Muncie, IN, campus reported owning a tablet computer, down slightly from a 2012 survey. Only 8.2% of the students said they planned to buy a tablet this year, according to Michael Hanley, an advertising professor and director of mobile media research at BSU.
“Tablets are for entertainment purposes, not for writing papers and doing class projects—key components of higher education,” Hanley told University Business. “Tablets don’t have the keyboard accessibility and power as compared to laptops and PCs. However, many students plan on getting a tablet when they graduate in order to watch movies, play games, or access social media. After graduation and getting a job, you can afford to splurge on entertainment.”
Having studies media consumption by college students for 10 years, his research shows that 65% of students receive mobile advertisements and 70% of those wish they didn’t. He found that 75% of student smartphone users are getting ads on their devices, up 14 percentage points since 2009, and that 58% are not interested.
His study also found that smartphone usage is up 51% since 2009 and that parents pay the bill for 61% of student smartphone owners. About 80% of the students said they watch videos on their smartphones, compared to 24% just five years ago, while 92% of students reported accessing social media sites from their mobile phone, up from 49% in 2009.
“Just a few years ago, college students would access social media sites through their laptops or personal computers, but smartphones have made social media increasingly popular by upgrading cameras,” Hanley said. “Now, students can post a photo or video from their phones, allowing them to share their lives instantly—something they love to do.”