Technology plays an increasingly important role in the life of every college student, and it will continue to do as it becomes more powerful, and more accessible. You might say that there is nothing unusual about students using their desktops or laptops to do their research online or write their essays, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because it goes way beyond just that. With portable devices such as smartphones, tablets, and e-readers playing a significant role in student education nowadays, even the very definition of classes, lectures and textbooks is starting to change and move toward the realm of digital.
According to statistics, email is used by over 90% of the students as a means of communication with their professors, whereas about 73% have stated that they have to use technology in order to make their studies possible. And the stats just keep on pouring in. For instance, 70% of the students are now relying on their laptops to write down notes during lectures, as opposed to writing things down using a notepad and a pen.
And when it comes to reading actual textbooks, technology has the upper hand there as well, because 98% of the students who own e-readers opt to read e-textbooks instead of an actual printed copy. Apart from taking notes and studying, college students also rely on the tools of modern technology when they are creating presentations. To be more exact, 65% of them are using some sort of presentation software.
It doesn’t even come as surprise that almost 40% of the students have a habit of not being able to stay away from their computers, tablets, or smartphones for more than 10 minutes.
It seems that college students and technology are somewhat of a perfect match, because not only do they need each other, but they are also recession-proof. This means that no matter what happens in the future, people are going to continue pursuing their education, and relyingmore and more on modern technology.
For proof, look no further than the fact that college students spend over 13 billion dollars every year on various tech devices. Especially popular are the purchases of netbooks costing less than $400, which are used mainly for educational purposes, and as well as digital books, which are about 40% cheaper than their analog counterparts.
Tablet devices, such as iPad, are slowly establishing their dominance, because they provide students with hundreds of different educational apps that can make their lives easier.
Community college students, are less dependent on modern technology than their peers who enroll in 4-year colleges.
And it’s not just about hardware, either, because students are making the most out of their devices by using a variety of different apps. Skype, for instance, despite for being around for quite some time, is extremely popular, not just because of free texting, but because it allows for group chats and video conferencing, which can be used for group studies, or calling family and friends back home, without having to pay an outstanding phone bill.
Apps like Grades can be used to keep track of students’ grades and important dates. Students are also relying on scheduling apps, like Wunderlist, which help them organize their tasks and assignments, as well as their personal lives.Snoozerr Recordings app is an efficient alternative to taking notes, because of its capability of capturing both video and audio during long lectures.
And for college freshmen, applications such as AroundMe can help them with their orientation and fitting in more quickly.
With the internet becoming faster, more and more students are taking classes online. According to the numbers, over 12 million students are doing so, and that number is set to reach over 20 million in the next 5 years. Curiously enough, most students say that they scale down the use of technology when cramming for their final exams.
These are exciting times we live in, and there is very little we can do to predict the way colleges will look like in the future, but one thing is certain: modern technology will play an extremely important role. Whether the students will make the most of this technology, or use it as a distraction, remains to be seen.