Want to know how the future workforce students use certain type of technology, e.g. search engines, social networking, online collaborative tools, as well as handheld devices both in and outside classroom?
In recent study that based on a survey from the spring of 2010 of over 36,950 freshmen and seniors at 100 four-year institutions and students at 27 two-year institutions, The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2010 gives some excellent insights into trends in college student’s technology ownership, perceptions, skills, and habits.
Students Ownership and Use of Technology
According to the study, about half (49%) of the respondents say they consider themselves to be mainstream adopters of technology. But about half of the male respondents see themselves as innovator or early adopters versus just a quarter of females described themselves that way.
Among the different devices, eReaders only gain 3.1% ownership compare with laptop 84% and 63% that own an Internet-capable handheld device.
Interactive Communication Tools
Communications technology continue dominate students use of IT. 9 out of 10 respondents said they use text messaging and access social networking websites. 4 of 10 use voice over computer-based Internet protocol (VoIP) services such as Skype, with a median use of monthly. Of the roughly one-half of respondents who own an Internet-capable handheld device and access the Internet with it, more than 8 in 10 said they use it to check for information such as news, weather, sports, specific facts etc, and about the same percentage also said they use their handheld device to send and receive e-mail.
Use of Social Networking Websites and How Students Use Them for
The study also found that social networking become rapidly growing application for mobile access, more than three-quarters of respondents said they use social networking sites (SNSs) from their handheld device, up from two-thirds among last year’s respondents.
The younger, so-called Net Generation students have integrated social networking more actively into their lives than older students. 18 and 19 years old students reported has use SNSs as nearly consistent 95 percent for the last four years.
96% of students said they were on Facebook. 23% said they were on MySpace. And of students active in social networking, fewer than 7% said they had no restrictions as to who could see their online profiles. 59% of women and only 40% of men said they’d put some restrictions in place as to who could view their social networking information.
Despite the very high percentage of students who said they use social networking for personal reasons, very few said they use these sites as part of their coursework. Only 3 in 10 said they do, most of whom said they did so to collaborate with fellow students in their classes. 8% of respondents said they used social networking sites to interact with their instructors. When asked if they would like to see more social networking in their classes, slightly more than 25% said they would.
In terms of other technologies being used by students, 36% said they used web-based productivity tools like Google Docs, 12% said they used blogs, and only 4% said they used microblogging services like Twitter in their courses.
Colleague students are usually at the cutting edge! So what you think? Do you think Facebook and laptops will thrive? And twitter and desktops will die?