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More parents focusing on ed-tech spending


school-spendingWith back-to-school shopping trips and spending in full swing across the U.S., many parents are starting to invest in larger purchases–mainly ed-tech devices–along with notebooks, glue, and highlighters.

Fifty percent of parents are spending their money on “some type” of electronic item as part of their kids’ back-to-school lists, 13 percent plan on spending money to purchase a mobile phone, and 30 percent said they will purchase a laptop, desktop, or mini computer for their child.

Smart phones seem to rule spending lists this year, though, with 69 percent of parents who said they will purchase a mobile phone indicating that they will go directly for a smart phone. Fourteen percent of parents will purchase a mobile phone, but not a smart phone, for their child. Eleven percent anticipate spending money on both.

(Next page: An infographic outlining back-to-school spending)Parents seem most comfortable spending money on mobile phones for slightly older students. None of the parents surveyed said they planned on spending money on mobile phones for their children ages 4 or younger, and just 2 percent said they would purchase a mobile phone for a child aged 8-9. Six percent of parents said no child age is appropriate.

Instead, 6 percent of parents said they are comfortable spending money on mobile phones for children ages 10-12, 34 percent said 13-14 is an appropriate age range, 23 percent said 15-16 is appropriate, and 24 percent said they are comfortable purchasing a mobile phone for a child ages 17-18. [See infographic below]

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Most parents said spending money on electronics for back-to-school makes sense, though, because their students are using technology devices with increasing frequency in the classroom.

In fact, 70 percent of parents surveyed said their child uses an electronic device for learning. Forty-four percent said their child uses a tablet, 19 percent said their child uses a smart phone, 18 percent said their child uses an eReader, and 16 percent said their child uses an interactive whiteboard.

The survey was conducted online for American Express by Ebiquity in June 2013.

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