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Study finds college students becoming more reliant on technology


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

If you are a student heading off to college in the fall, you most likely have some electronic device on your school shopping list. According to a recent report published by digital course materials specialist CourseSmart, today's students have fully embraced technology and rely on it extensively to complete their work.

Improving outcomes
CourseSmart commissioned independent research firm Wakefield Research to poll 500 students currently enrolled in college to determine the true extent of the role technology played in their academic lives. The results of the study suggest that not only are more students using mobile devices, including tablet computers and smartphones, but that this technology is also increasing students' productivity.

"The results of this survey underscore just how much students have embraced mobile devices and digital course materials to enhance their productivity, efficiency and performance, all of which impact students' educational success and financial prospects in this highly competitive, globally connected world," said Sean Devine, chief executive officer of CourseSmart.

A snapshot of today's students
Key findings of the report indicate that students are not just using one device to make their lives easier, but embracing several different types. Approximately 68 percent of students polled said they used at least three separate devices daily, and almost half said they checked their mobile devices roughly once every 10 minutes. Around 59 percent of students said they would prefer to bring a laptop or tablet computer to class than traditional materials, with just 41 percent saying they still brought physical textbooks to class.

In addition, technology seems to be changing the way students approach learning, as 88 percent of respondents indicated they had used a mobile device during last-minute study sessions before exams. Many students felt that technology enabled them to study more efficiently, with 79 percent of individuals polled saying that tablets, laptops and smartphones saved them valuable study time. And of those students, 64 percent believed the time they saved using electronic devices is more than two hour daily.

The pace at which technology has revolutionized student life is apparent in the results the most recent CourseSmart survey as compared to the 2011 study.  In that study, of the students surveyed, 47 percent owned a smartphone and only 7 percent owned a tablet, compared to the recent figures of 78 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

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