Highlights for me include:
- Use of instant messages has declined, while text messaging and social networks have increased. See chart on page 5.
- Use of social networking software (SNS) has increased the most by older students. See chart on page 6. Use by students age 30-39 tripled, use by students age 40 and above quadrupled.
- Use of course management software (CMS) has increased significantly since 2004. In 2009, about 70.4% of students surveyed were in a class that used course management software (CMS) that quarter; an additional 18.5% have experienced CSM.
- Study identified and described 4 types of users of mobile Internet: power users, ocassional users, potential users, and non-users. Potential users (11.8%) indicated they probably would purchase a mobile device within the next 12 months. See page 10. Of note: about 35.4% of students who owned an Internet-capable handheld device said they never use that feature.
- Handhelds were used in class by about 32.2% of students for non-course use; 11% for course-related use.
- The study no longer asks about use of e-mail, assuming it is well-entrenched -- yet my college student rarely checks her e-mail and as a result has missed some important deadlines or communications from her college!
- Students like the use of technology, but want their academic experience balanced with the human touch. Apparently some professors overuse technology, while others avoid it.
The authors provide a proper citation for the longitudinal study:
Citation for this work: Smith, Shannon, Gail Salaway, and Judith Borreson Caruso, with an Introduction by Richard N. Katz. The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2009 (Research Study, Vol. 6). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 2009, available from http://www.educause.edu/ecar.