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New National Survey Finds That More Than A Third Of Middle School Students Use Mobile Devices For Homework; Yet Mobile-Device Use Is Still Not Common In Classrooms

Transforming STEM Education Through Technology

To tap into students' interest in mobile technology as a tool for learning, the Technology Student Association and the Verizon Foundation partnered to launch the Verizon Innovative App Challenge.  This national student competition encourages middle and high school students, working in teams with a faculty advisor, to conceptualize a mobile application that incorporates STEM and addresses a real problem or issue in their schools or communities.

Ten winning teams – five from middle schools and five from high schools – will be selected.  These team members and their advisors will receive in-person, hands-on training and ongoing virtual support from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Mobile Learning at the Media Lab to help build their apps using MIT's App Inventor and bring them to the marketplace.  Winning team members will also receive Samsung Galaxy Tabs and their schools will receive $10,000 cash grants from the Verizon Foundation to enhance STEM education.

MIT also will assist in judging the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, along with an expert panel of judges from Samsung, Vodafone, National Geographic, New York Hall of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the National Academy Foundation.

Middle school and high school student teams can submit their app design concepts from Dec. 1 through Jan. 18, 2013.  More information is available at

Survey Methodology

Verizon Foundation commissioned TRU to conduct quantitative research on middle school students' use of technology.  TRU conducted 1,000 online interviews among sixth- to eighth-grade students, ages 11-14, yielding a margin of error of + 3.0 percentage points. The interviews were conducted from Oct. 4 through Oct. 12, 2012. The sample of 1,000 students was broken out as follows: 332 sixth graders (166 males and 166 females); 332 seventh graders (166 males and 166 females); and 336 eighth graders (167 males and 169 females).  A quota was also set to ensure a minimum of 200 respondents with a household income of $25,000 or less.  The final total for this quota is n=273.  Unless otherwise noted, all reported data is based on a statistically reliable base size of n=100 or greater.

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