Are college students dependent on technology?

Are college students dependent on technology?

Summary: How long can students go without checking their phone, and how much money do they spend per year on technology?

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TOPICS: Mobility, Wi-Fi
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Are college students completely dependent on technology?

I would argue no. Some students can write faster than they can type, and if you are attending a lecture or seminar with a professor who actually belongs in an auction house, it may be a better option to rely on traditional pen-and-paper rather than netbooks or iPads.

However, technology does have its place within education. Online courses are rising in popularity, lecture notes and PowerPoint slides can be downloaded through the Internet, and students now often have to submit work that has been typed and sent through email.

An infographic provided by Presta has examined this area, and come up with some interesting thoughts on just how students and learning are beginning to merge:

  • Using a sample of 500 students, 73 percent stated they "could not study" without technology;
  • 70 percent of students now take notes through typing rather than pen and paper;
  • 91 percent use email to communicate with their professors.

If students insist on using iPads, e-readers and netbooks, then it stands to reason that the student market would also increase its spending in this area. According to Presta, students spent approximately $13 billion on electronics in 2009, and this figure has likely increased -- with a gradual shift to digital textbooks that are often cheaper prompting this trend.

The expanding market for mobile applications can also be attributed to the increased use of technology. Apps allow for a wide range of useful tools -- from note taking, flashcards, specialized searches and task lists. When information is available at your fingertips -- from checking a term or calculating your GPA -- it is no wonder students are tempted to buy tablets or smartphones that come equipped with these possibilities.

For more information, view the infographic below:

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Topics: Mobility, Wi-Fi

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5 comments
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  • So what if they are?

    Use the tools available to you. Would you say that we're overly reliant on pens and pencils? Come on, that's what quills are for. Books? Bah, that's what scrolls and rock slates are for. If a technology makes you more efficient, it's stupid not to use it.

    As a side note, if you're faster at handwriting than typing, then you can't really type. Unless you consider pecking away at a virtual touch screen keyboard to be "typing", anyways.
    Aerowind
  • What College/University have you been to lately?

    Maybe students on your side of the pond aren't "dependent on technology"...but over here, they are in a BIG way.

    I run a network for a college at a large East Coast academic & medical research university, and I can tell you that our university is spending a large amount of money expanding our IT infrastructure for everyone...students, faculty and staff.
    IT_Fella
  • Things I still used (and use) paper for:

    Things I still used (and use) paper for:

    -Math equations, especially for higher level maths. I can write out a complex equation quickly on paper. Trying to create one in an equation editor is a pain.

    -Diagrams. Paper is infinitely flexible, and faster as well. I'm pretty sure I can move my pencil faster than I can move a mouse.

    -Notes for "open book" tests. Technology isn't allowed when taking a test.

    -Taking tests. Technology isn't allowed when taking tests, because they want you to know how well you know the material - not how well you can look it up on Google.

    "Some students can write faster than they can type"

    This is one area where I actually used my laptop extensively - for taking text notes. If you're writing faster than you can type, you may want to attend some touch typing classes. I doubt this is actually very many students, especially since touch typing is being taught in grade/high schools.

    That being said - nearly every student I've seen is still using paper and notebooks. This infographic seems to be off, or seems to be focused on only the highest tech schools. My own use of technology seemed to be an exception to me, not the rule. Although the percentage was increasing when I graduated - but I graduated only about a year ago. Where I was at, it seemed closer to 30% than 70%.

    Also note that these number listed [i]is[/i] "70%." That means that (if the infographic is to be believed) 30% of students are still using paper for notes, which is still quite a lot!

    But ZDNet sometimes treats 70% like 99% when talking about technology. Which is annoying. They will probably say "all students . . " or whatnot in future articles, and will totally ignore the 30%.

    I [b]do[/b] predict that e-book readers will become very common among college students - when the books are available.

    In my last semester, I computed regular textbooks vs e-books. [i]Had my textbooks been available electronically,[/i] it would have saved me significant money. And yes, that includes the cost of the reader itself.

    Alas, this was right at the beginning of e-book readers becoming popular, and my books weren't available yet in an electronic format. So I didn't end up getting an e-book reader.

    We're probably [i]not[/i] going to see the end of pencils and paper. They will still have their place. But yes, electronic devices, be they notebooks, tablets, or whatever, will IMO become an important part of a student's life in the future.

    The one thing that may go away is paper textbooks - they're heavy, cumbersome, and expensive. You often need a backpack to haul them between classes, and if you have a bunch of classes right after each other, you may have to carry a lot of them with you. They're a pain. E-books are lightweight, don't get heavier as you add more books and more classes, and don't need a backpack. And they're cheaper.

    So in conclusion, my opinion of the future of college:
    -Paper textbooks will probably go away.
    -Paper notebooks will not be used as much, but will likely remain.

    Further thoughts:
    -Phones aren't going away. The carriers have too much control.

    -3x5s aren't going away. Evernote Peek is a specific technology for a specific device with a specific accessory that not everybody will have.

    -College students don't use calculators for figuring out their grades. That's grade school math, most can do that in their heads. College students use calculators for high level math.

    -Audio recording is rare. Most students write/type notes.

    -I've never seen a college student actually use a "campus planner," paper or digital.

    -Most students just ask each other what's in town. It's word of mouth.

    -Yes, if you're on a college network [b]DURING THE SUMMER WHEN NOBODY ELSE IS ON[/b], you have a crazy fast internet connection.

    When school is in session? Forget it, the connections are jammed to high heaven. Internet is often a joke.
    CobraA1
  • Sad fact ...

    ... most college students today, can't even do basic math without a calculator.

    The the biggest sad fact: Most of the math teachers who taught the "basic math ignorant" students can't do basic math without a calculator (and the answer books) either.
    wackoae
  • According to 70 % student totally dependent on latest up to date technology

    According to 70 % student totally dependent on latest up to date technology because with out technology education system is incomplete and unable to work im studying at <a href="http://phys.org/news/2012-05-wastewater-treatment-wood-production-mongolia.html">MUST University</a> and after a completing mine study hour i spend mine mostly time on surfing internet for searching and finding new ideas about mine education for polish mine educational skills and migth be mostly student do the same things.
    Jimmy300