Eric Kunnen\’s GRCC Blog

Students and THEIR Use of Technology
September 28, 2007, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Articles

Gary Ebels, a Professor here at GRCC sent me a link to an article on Inside Higher Ed which I then tagged on Blackboard Scholar. The article is entitled: “Students’ ‘Evolving’ Use of Technology“. Anyway, it was an excellent read so thanks Gary!

The article highlighted some work from the Educause Center for Applied Research which conducted a survey of 27,864 students at 103 two- and four-year colleges and universities. I pulled some interesting information from the article and I’d like to highlight them here in this blog post. In fact, the article talks about how even though students have laptops, they often don’t take them to class, which is exactly what I found and posted in a quick poll that I ran on our Blackboard Community System. I blogged about that here.

According to the ECAR:

  1. 60.9% of students believe using technology improves their learning.
  2. 73.7% have a laptop with 98.4% owning a computer of some kind.
  3. Over half of laptop owners don’t bring them to class at all.
  4. 80.3% of students are using Facebook and other social networking sites
  5. Approximately 46.1% are accessing streaming video and course management software like our Blackboard system here at GRCC.

The article also goes on to mention that there are many different communication technologies, each with seemingly different purposes from the students’ view. Is seems that students use email, web sites, message boards, and Blackboard for course related communications. And seem to favor chat, instant messaging, Facebook and text messages for peers.


Student using blackboard at GRCC

Here a GRCC we offer Blackboard for student and instructor communication, but we also offer student instant messaging via Pronto, which is integrated nicely into Blackboard. In addition, we are also doing more and more with text messaging. Currently we use clearTXT to send emergency alerts and notices to students who have signed up with the program which is also nicely integrated into our Blackboard environment.

Not surprisingly, many students are using technology for research according to the article. Sites like Google and Wikipedia among other electronic resources including the library are cited as being used by more than 70% of the respondents in the survey.

I like how the article poses the question: “How can educators adapt their teaching methods to emerging technologies? And should they?” I often wonder, what is the intersection between the new technologies that are available, student expectations for technology’s use, faculty ability to quickly learn about and leverage new technologies in their teaching, and the institution’s ability to respond with resources.

What are your thoughts about this article?


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

There’s some interesting things in that article:

1. “In at least one central respect, proponents of technology in the classroom are on to something: Most students (60.9 percent) BELIEVE it improves their learning.” DOES it improve their learning or is this just an unsupported belief?

2. “How can educators adapt their teaching methods to emerging technologies?” The more appropriate question is how emerging technologies can assist learning. As the article points out, ““IT is not a good substitute for good teaching. Good teachers are good with or without IT and students learn a great deal from them. Poor teachers are poor with or without IT and students learn little from them.”

Comment by gbrand

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