Friday, December 7, 2018
Inside Higher Ed, Smartphones for All Students: An Academic Equalizer in an Era of Income Inequality?:
As social inequality on American college campuses continues to spark debate, the fast-growing use of smartphone technology is raising new questions about the divide between poor and affluent students: Should all students have smartphones, whether or not they can afford them? Have smartphones become as important to student success as food and housing? Would having smartphones help low-income students be more academically successful? ...
Jessica Calarco, an assistant professor of sociology at Indiana University, posted a statement she intends to add to her class syllabus outlining why digital devices like smartphones are so important to college success and recognizing that some students are unable to afford them.
Some universities have taken steps to level the playing field, said Calarco. Ohio State University, for example, has started giving all first-year students an iPad Pro. These initiatives are admirable but out of reach for many institutions because of the cost, Calarco said. In the short term, she suggests professors take the small step of making students feel "supported and seen" by including statements on digital access in their syllabi. ...
Professors and students generally agree working on a laptop or tablet is preferable to working on a smartphone, but given the choice to buy either a laptop or a phone, many students may opt for the relative value and dual functionality of a smartphone