College kids use technology. A lot of it.
Back to school, hooray!
That’s a pretty crazy conclusion, right? The Educause Center for Applied Research (it promotes the marriage of technology and education) did a full-on study on college kids’ use of technology and found that they use it in spades, but perhaps not always for education. (Think Facebookand its use as a tool to show your friends drunken pictures of yourself.) Some highlights:
• 98.4 percent of students have a computer of some sort, with 73.7 percent of them owning a laptop
• Students spend an average of around 18 hours per week online. I’m, uh, a little higher than average, I think…
• Most undergrads grew up around technology and aren’t fearful of it, but don’t exactly see it as a substitute for human interaction. I, on the other hand…
• There’s a fine line between educational tech and screwing around tech. Students will use Blackboard (a class-specific message board where teachers can post PDFs, grades, etc.) at the drop of a hat, but aren’t keen to the idea of using Facebook for schoolwork.
• Everyone has a DAP nowadays, not just geeky guys.
A Slashdot commenter made a good point, though: even though most students have a laptop, hardly any of them bring their laptops to class. I agree with that. You can have 150+ person classes and you’ll only see and handful of people using laptops. I find them to be more cumbersome to use than a cheap-o notebook and pen and I don’t want to have to bring my life around in my backpack all day. Heaven forbid I leave it in the library or at Starbucks or something. Welcome to Screwsville, population: you.