Journal of Educational Research and Practice




With near ubiquitous smartphone ownership among 18–29-year-olds, many students carry mobile technology everywhere they go, yet little is known about how students use mobile devices for learning. For historically marginalized students, in particular, their phone may be an important tool for learning—especially if it is the primary device used to access the internet. This study explores student perceptions of using mobile devices for learning in focus groups with students from a California community college, a California state university, and a California university. Findings suggest that students often rely on their mobile devices as both an emergency bridge and to make progress on coursework in the in-between moments of their day. However, students also note frustration with using mobile devices due to limitations of small screens and challenges with accessing course content or completing assignments. Implications of this study highlight the importance of faculty development on designing mobile-friendly courses to empower students in leveraging their mobile devices for learning.