Mobile Internet Use Increasing Rapidly

“An April 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows that 56% of adult Americans have accessed the Internet by wireless means, such as using a laptop, mobile device, game console, or MP3 player. The most prevalent way people get online using a wireless network is with a laptop computer; 39% of adults have done this.”

“The report also finds rising levels of Americans using the internet on a mobile handset. One-third of Americans (32%) have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the Internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or information-seeking. This level of mobile internet is up by one-third since December 2007, when 24% of Americans had ever used the internet on a mobile device. On the typical day, nearly one-fifth (19%) of Americans use the Internet on a mobile device, up substantially from the 11% level recorded in December 2007. That’s a growth of 73% in the 16 month interval between surveys.” . . .

Wireless internet access using other devices, though much less common than with laptops or handhelds, has a foothold among some Americans. The April 2009 survey found that:

  • 45% of adults have iPods or MP3 players and 5% of all adults have used such a device to go online.
  • 41% of adults have game consoles and 9% of adults have used it to access the Internet.
  • 14% of adults have a personal digital assistant (PDA), and 7% of adults have used it for online access.
  • 2% of adults have an e-book (i.e., a Kindle or Sony reader) and 1% of adults have used it to get online.

The complete study is available at http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/12-Wireless-Internet-Use.aspx

What opportunities does an increased access to the Internet on mobile devices afford teaching and learning in higher education? Leave a comment with your ideas!

email