Monday, December 21, 2009

Educause study on student use of computers and the Internet

The 2009 Educause Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology is out.

The study reports on the technology students use, how it affects their learning experience and their preferences in IT courses. This year's study held focus groups at 4 schools and surveyed 30,616 freshmen and seniors at 103 four-year institutions and 12 two-year institutions. (Longitudinal comparisons dating back to 2006 are available from only 39 institutions).

A few of their findings about students this year were:

  • 44.8% post videos on the Web
  • 41.9% post on wikis
  • 37.3% contribute to blogs
  • 35% use podcasts
  • 37.7% use VoIP
  • 98.8% own computers
  • 87.8% own laptops
  • 34.5% own both desktop and laptops
As shown below, this activity keeps them online (doing school work and recreation) an average of 21.3 and a median of 16 hours per week.

(Click the image to enlarge it).

For comparison, Nielson reported that the average American television viewer watched more than 148 hours per month during the second quarter of 2009.

The Nielsen report cited above reveals that television viewing is not falling as Internet usage rises -- where do people find the extra time? If you are a student, how do you compare with those in this study?

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