How actively are college students using mobile technology and what impact is it having on their learning experience?
Ongoing research suggests mobile technology is being deployed at a rapid rate to meet growing student demand. In the latest survey from the Campus Computing Project, more than half (55 percent) of public universities have activated mobile apps or stated their plan to do so in the coming year. That was up from just one-third (33 percent) the prior year.
“Several factors explain these dramatic gains,” says Kenneth C. Green, founding director of the Campus Computing Project. “Students come to campus expecting to use mobile apps on their smart phones and tablets to navigate campus resources and use campus services. Also important is that compared to a year ago, more firms—both LMS (learning management system) and ERP (enterprise resource planning) providers—now offer mobile options for their campus clients.”
Indeed, the demand for mobile apps and services seems to reflect the high ownership levels of mobile devices among undergrads and graduate students, which are significantly higher than other adults.
According to the most recent Pew Research numbers—which lag a bit behind—99 percent of grad students and 96 percent of undergrads have a cell phone. Meanwhile, 93 percent of grad students and 88 percent of undergrads have a laptop or tablet computer, according to Pew.
So what are student and teachers’ views on learning with mobile technology in a campus setting? “Learn Now, Lecture Later,” a new report released last month by CDW-G explores just that topic. They surveyed more than 1,000 high school and college students, teachers and IT managers to see how different learning models are affecting today’s classrooms and to understand the role of technology in education.
The study found that 71 percent of students and 77 percent of teachers are using more technology in the classroom than two years ago. Along those lines, 69 percent of students reported that they would like to incorporate even more technology into the classroom as a learning tool.
Likewise, faculty plans to incorporate more technology into their classrooms, with the following being the most popular:
- Digital content
Student comments represented yet another source of feedback from the research. Among the comments:
- “Technology makes you ready for a real-world experience and makes school work seem more like a job.”
- “[A better mix] allows me to learn the material in multiple, distinct ways and helps teach me how to reach the answer through different methods, such as communicating with classmates and/or researching the answer in topic-specific databases.”
As such findings suggest, mobile technology is indeed enhancing classroom learning and interaction. And, considering the high level of device ownership on campus, it’s good news to discover that mobile technology is contributing to student satisfaction and success.
So that begs the question: what is your institution doing to embrace this move toward mobility in and out of the lecture hall? Share your experiences with us.
If you’re responsible for IT operations on a college campus, you know students and faculty are big fans of mobile technologies—and they expect to get instant online access, anytime, anywhere. Get a snapshot of the current trends in mobility in higher education by downloading this eBrief. You’ll read how institutions like Seton Hall University, Ohio State University and Santa Clara University are embracing mobility, and you’ll get data to support your own business case for new initiatives.