Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Undergraduate Students and Information Technology

In the recently released report from the Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR), they found that students owned the following devices:
  • 83.8% have laptops
  • 62.7% have hand-held devices with Internet access
  • 45.9% have desktop computers
  • 13% have netbook computers
  • 3.1% have e-readers
About 42% are considered "power users". Here is the breakdown of Internet-Capable Handheld Device Use among students (click to enlarge):

About 25% of students said they use e-textbooks in their courses, but it appears they use their computers or hand-held devices to access the e-texts, not dedicated e-readers. When asked what Web-based technologies students use in their courses, they said:
  • Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, etc: 36.2% — for collaborative use: 53%
  • Wikis (Web pages that can be created and/or edited by a group of people): 33.1% — for collaborative use: 30.7%
  • Social networking sites: 29.4% — for collaborative use: 49.4%
  • College opinion sites (RateMyProfessors, etc.): 27.1%
  • Textbook publishers’ resource sites: 26.1% — for collaborative use: 23.2%
  • Video-sharing (YouTube, etc.): 24.3% — for collaborative use: 33.4%
  • Blogs: 11.6% — for collaborative use: 37.6%
  • College study support (Cramster, Turnitin, etc.): 10.9%
ECAR states the the most important take-away message from their survey is that there is "no stereotypical student when it comes to technology."

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