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Spotlight: ECAR student study on technology use

The 2010 ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology in its seventh iteration shares the responses on existing and emerging technologies of 36,950 students from 127 doctoral (56.3%), master’s (22.3%), baccalaureate (8%), associate’s (11.5%), and other institutions. Some of the questions posed assessed skill level with various technologies, ownership of Internet-capable handheld devices, preference on how the students liked to learn, reasons for use of social networking sites, collaboration using web-based tools, and more.

  • Eighty-nine percent of the students reported owning a laptop or netbook, with 99 percent reporting owning a computer. The latter is up from 93 percent in 2004.
  • About 63 percent of the students reported owning a handheld device, and more than 11 percent intend to purchase one within the year.
  • Students reported spending an average of 21.2 ┬áhours per week in online activities that are school- and nonschool-related.

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Spotlight: Mindset List about incoming college freshmen (class of 2014)

Most new college students this fall were born in 1992, and they are “a post-email generation for whom the digital world is routine and technology is just too slow,” according to an Aug. 17 news release with Beloit College’s (Wis.) Mindset List for the Class of 2014. These students “will now be awash with a computerized technology that will not distinguish information and knowledge. So it will be up to their professors to help them. A generation accustomed to instant access will need to acquire the patience of scholarship…”

The mindset list, published annually since 1998, aims to “identify the worldview” of 18-year-olds arriving at colleges across the country. Technology observations for this year’s class include: