Tablet usage tripled among students between 2011 and 2012.

The presence of mobile devices has exploded on college campuses over the past five years, though just 19 percent of students say they use tablets and ubiquitous smartphones for educational purposes.

Those findings and others detailing digital trends in higher education were found in a recent survey conducted by and Millennial Branding.

The report, “The Future of Education,” found that 84 percent of student respondents said they use a computer to study, while just one in five students regularly studied on their Apple iPads, iPhones, and myriad other mobile devices.

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Findings showing students’ low use of tablets and phones to study comes several years after the first U.S. campuses gave iPads to incoming students and certain campus departments.

The number of college students who say they own a tablet tripled between 2011 and 2012, according to a poll from the Pearson Foundation.

See Page 2 for the percentage of college students who believe online education is equivalent to traditional education.

Sixty-three percent of students who responded to that poll said they believed tablets would replace textbooks by 2017 – making the “Future of Education” findings all the more curious.

Another striking finding showed that nearly eight in 10 student respondents said it’s easier to learn in a traditional classroom than it is to learn in an online setting.

Forty-three percent said “online education will provide them with courses of the same or higher quality than traditional colleges,” according to the report.

“Millennials understand that the future of education is online and since they were brought up with the internet, they are prepared for that change,” said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding. “Education should not be a one size fits all model because everyone learns differently, regardless of age, occupation and location. More online courses should be offered to cater to those who learn better in a virtual classroom.”

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