When it comes to technology, students teach, schools follow...slowly

New research finds that students adapt mobile phones to creative learning tools

Announcement Highlights:

  • Even in schools with advanced technology, hardware is largely going unused by teachers
  • Students primarily use their smartphones for socializing and organizing their academic/work life
  • A mobile survey commissioned by Best Buy found that university students in Montreal have the lowest rate of smartphone adoption among surveyed provinces; students in Toronto have the highest
  • Best Buy has created back-to-school shopping tips to help students choose the best devices for their unique needs

BURNABY, BC, Aug. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - According to parents and high-school aged students who participated in separate online focus groups hosted by Best Buy, Canada's fastest growing retailer and e-tailer of consumer electronics, students don't feel they're using technology to its full potential because many schools are lagging behind in both quality of hardware and technology policies. As a result, students are adopting technology faster than schools and using it in creative ways to organize school, work and their social lives.

When it comes to mobile phones, most of the high school students said they own smartphones and use them primarily for socializing and organizing their lives. One participant, a grade 10 student from Windsor, Nova Scotia, said he records his homework assignments by taking a picture of the board with his smartphone. Another participant, a grade 12 student from Kitchener, Ontario, said he uses his phone to keep track of assignments and schedule his part-time job.

Other key findings from the focus group:

  • Most students agreed that they can type faster than they can write and said it would be helpful to type notes in class.
  • The students agreed that they would prefer to read on digital devices, saying they are lighter and more portable. If text books were available for digital download, they would take advantage of that option.
  • Parents and students agreed that using technology in school better prepares them for the work world.

The use of mobile devices as a social and organizational tool is even more entrenched at the university level. A survey of university/college students in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, found that 60 per cent of cell phone users own smartphones, with Montreal reporting the lowest smartphone usage at 50 per cent and Toronto reporting the highest at 65 per cent.

The survey was conducted by Vision Critical on behalf of Best Buy to reveal how university students in different parts of the country use their mobile devices.

Key Mobile Survey Findings:

  • 54 per cent of students use their phone primarily for texting; 31 per cent mainly use their phones for talking.
  • Think girls talk more than boys? Think again. Male respondents (31 per cent) are ten points more likely than females (21 per cent) to use their phones mainly for talking. Women (63 per cent) are twice at likely as men (38 per cent) to use their phones primarily for texting.
  • Montreal respondents are most inclined to use their phones for talking (35 per cent), while  Calgarians, by a wide margin, use their phones for texting (75 per cent).
  • Males respondents from Vancouver are most likely to own iPhones (44 per cent and 41 per cent respectively), whereas females in Calgary (42 per cent and 42 per cent) are most likely to own a BlackBerry.
  • Not Tweeting yet? You're not alone. 44 per cent of respondents who own a smartphone use Facebook as their primary communication app; 20 per cent use BlackBerry Messenger (BBM); 20 per cent don't use apps for communication. Only five per cent report using Twitter.
  • Vancouver smartphone-owners (50 per cent) are most likely to use Facebook as their main app and the least likely to use BBM (11 per cent).

Based on research findings, Best Buy has developed the following tips for back-to-school shopping to ensure that students can use technology to excel in the classroom:

  • When buying a laptop, consider how you'll use it. If you want portability and only require email, light web browsing and apps, or if you need a secondary device to complement a home computer, consider a tablet or a netbook. Students who run heavier programs for schoolwork require a more powerful computer, so choose a desktop or laptop model.
  • Consider how you use your cell to communicate. Work with the non-commissioned, impartial Mobile Experts at Best Buy to find the plan that best suits your needs to avoid costly mobile bills.
  • Parents and students have varying degrees of tech savvy-ness and don't always know how to get the most out of their devices. Consider enlisting the help of Best Buy's Geek Squad to do everything from setting up home networks to installing programs

About Best Buy Mobile

Best Buy Mobile is the wireless retail unit of Best Buy Canada Ltd. offering the best selection of phones, carriers, and accessories, and run by impartial mobile specialists who help customers choose the phone that is right for them. In addition, the complimentary Walk-out-Working service ensures each customer leaves the store with their phone fully operational including free email setup on smartphones, free data transfer from your old phone to your new one, and free Bluetooth pairing to your new phone. Best Buy Mobile offers complete, end-to-end mobile solutions to enable users to discover and get the most out of their mobile experiences, regardless of what phone they use or what network it runs on. Look for your mobile phone solution at Best Buy Mobile locations in every Best Buy store across Canada as well as in standalone stores in select malls across the country. www.bestbuymobile.ca .

For more information about Best Buy, including store locations, visit www.BestBuy.ca

About the survey:

Mobile survey findings come from a Vision Critical poll conducted August 2-4, 2011, on behalf of Best Buy Canada. An online survey was conducted among 601 randomly selected college and university students from Vancouver, Calvary, Toronto and Montreal. The Sample includes Angus Reid Forum panleists and panelists from a trusted Angus Reid Forum external sample provider. The margin of error for the whole sample-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 4.0%, 19 times out of 20.

For further information:

Danielle Jang
Communications Manager
Best Buy Canada
604-412-1880
danjang@bestbuycanada.ca

Julia Perreira
Account Supervisor
Weber Shandwick
416-642-1968
jperreira@webershandwick.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bbycanadadeals
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BestBuyCanada

Au Québec :
Patrick Lavoie
Magasins Best Buy Ltée
514 290-5571
plavoie@bestbuycanada.ca

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bbycanaubaines
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BestBuyQuébec