New York – When your son or daughter says they are doing homework on the phone, they may be telling the truth.
More than a third of tweens and young teenagers in the United States said they are using smartphones to do homework, according to a survey, with Hispanic students using them at a higher rate than African-Americans or whites.
"These middle school students are using mobile devices for more than entertainment purposes," Kristi Sarmiento, research director at TRU, said during an interview.
"They have grown up with this technology."
Smartphones were used at home for schoolwork by 39% of 11 to 14 year olds, 31% of those surveyed said they did assignments on a tablet while nearly 65% used laptops, the poll by research firm TRU, which specialises in data on tweens, teens and twenty-somethings, showed.
TRU is owned by WPP Plc, the world's largest advertising group.
But usage was lower in schools, where only 31% of students said they used a laptop, 18% worked on a tablet and 6% used a smartphone.
The national online poll of 1 000 students showed that smartphone usage increased with age, rising from 42% for sixth graders to 57% for eighth graders.
Not all US schools allow students to use mobile devices but in those that did, more than three quarters of students said the school provided the laptop and 55% used school tablets.
Smartphones were used by 49% of Hispanics surveyed, 42% of African-Americans and 36% of whites, while tablets were used by 38% of Hispanics, 30% of African-Americans and 31% of whites.
Laptops were used by 68% of Hispanics, 64% of African-Americans and 62% of whites.
Sarmiento said students questioned in the poll, commissioned by Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications which supports research into the use of technology, said they were excited about using mobile devices, which they said helped them to learn math and sciences better.