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Tablet Ownership Triples Among College Students

The number of college students who say they own tablets has more than tripled since a survey taken last year, according to new poll results released today. The Pearson Foundation sponsored the second-annual survey, which asked 1,206 college students and 204 college-bound high-school seniors about their tablet ownership. The results suggest students increasingly prefer to use the devices for reading.

One-fourth of the college students surveyed said they owned a tablet, compared with just 7 percent last year. Sixty-three percent of college students believe tablets will replace textbooks in the next five years—a 15 percent increase over last year’s survey. More than a third said they intended to buy a tablet sometime in the next six months.

This year’s poll also found that the respondents preferred digital books over printed ones. It’s a reversal of last year’s results and goes against findings of other recent studies, which concluded that students tend to choose printed textbooks. The new survey found that nearly six in 10 students preferred digital books when reading for class, compared with one-third who said they preferred printed textbooks.

The new survey results arrive as several new tools have emerged this year to simplify digital publishing, including Apple’s self-publishing software and Inkling’s enterprise platform for large companies.

Harris Interactive, the same firm that conducted last year’s survey on behalf of the Pearson Foundation, conducted the poll in January. Figures for age, sex, household income and other factors were weighted to be representative of the U.S. population of college students.

[Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo by sridgway]

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