If you were a teen today, there’s a good chance you’d be finishing your homework on your smartphone on the way to school.
At least, according to the eight New York City teenagers, all juniors or seniors in high school, that Stephanie Retblatt of Smarty Pants grilled about their productivity and work habits on stage at Business Insider’s Ignition conference.
The general consensus: Teens like to work on-the-go and in collaborative ways and almost all of their school work happens on the internet.
When asked about what programs or apps they used to get work done, Google Drive came up the most.
“It’s a huge thing at our school,” one teen boy said. “A lot of us depend on Google Drive, so we can edit our work at the same time.”
“Google became very student-efficient over the last few years,” another girl added. “Google Drive has a lot of resources to make things easy for us.”
Teachers post homework on assignment-dedicated websites. Some apparently tweet out assignments. Other classes create Facebook groups to discuss projects. A number of the teens said they often finished work on the way to school or got started on the bus or subway ride home.
“I’ll start typing essays on my iPhone’s Notes app,” one student said. Because of an Apple feature called “Handoff,” he can then pick up right where he left off on his computer.
At a similar panel last year, one teen said they would start writing papers by telling Siri to create a memo and then just speaking for 30 minutes.
One program that was notably ignored by the teens: Microsoft Word.
Microsoft recently released a free version of Office that will let you create and edit documents for free. It recently hit #1 on the iOS app store. Still, not a single kid said that they used Office to do school work. Today’s teens seem to be content sticking to what they know: The world of Google.
Other productivity apps the kids mentioned were Quizlet, which lets students and teachers create digital flashcards and PDF Notes, which allows students to download textbooks and mark them up with notes and highlights.
People think we just use our phones for stupid stuff, one teen said, but they have really changed how we work.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.