News Feature | October 7, 2014

Students Increasingly Consider Online, Social, Mobile Technology As Essential

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

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According to results of its annual survey, Vital Source Technologies, Ingram Content Group’s e-textbook solution, college students value online, social, and mobile technology more and more. The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, an independent research consultancy, polled than 500 currently enrolled college students.

“The results of this year’s survey point to the continued acceleration and adoption of technology in higher education,” says Cindy Clarke, VP of marketing for Vital Source Technologies. She says the survey report provides “insight into market trends that will affect the next generation of educational technology.” 

According to the study, 45 percent of respondents stated that they usually do not go more than 10 minutes without using some form of technology during an average school day, and 62 percent of students use interactive textbooks including video, audio, and quiz features. Another 44 percent use mobile learning tools such as courses utilizing apps, social media, or productivity tools.  A third of respondents said they used flipped classrooms that included courses discussing video lectures that were assigned and watched prior to class time. And 23 percent had used MOOCs, open online courses that allow for unlimited participation

The survey also found an increased desire for more digital learning opportunities. As growth in online is driven by both students and faculty, students are pushing professors to offer more digital learning, and professors increasingly urge students to get more involved with the digital components of their assignments. 

In addition, the survey revealed that the use of social media is increasing in the classroom. Of students between the ages of 18 and 23 surveyed 65 percent believe social media will eventually be required in all classes, and 77 percent of survey respondents said a professor has used, or asked them to use, at least one social media site for a class. The most popular accounts are YouTube (57 percent) Facebook (42 percent) and Twitter (25 percent).