Conducted last spring on almost 1800 students, “The study reveals students are spending a total of eleven hours of each day engaged with media and are constantly on the go.” The prevalence of cell phones, laptops, and MP3 players emphasize not only student interest in mobility, but in what the survey calls their “Mobile Social Lives.” Students use technology to meet and hang out online or through their cell phone features, but they also like to socialize in person with their technology along. It’s not unusual to see groups of students talking to each other and a phone partner at the same time, while another is in an online space.
The digital climate has changed relationships between students and faculty, as well, with “71% of students” turning in papers via email, and “56% of students opt[ing] to email or even instant message their professors for help.”
What do we do with this information? We could increase the wireless access around campus, including in the classroom, but how do we go about bringing it all into the educational experience? How do we tap into those eleven hours that students spend connected?
We still have to think about how to respond to these statistics, but consider that I took my laptop home last night and wrote this post, and now I’m in the library publishing it, so one thing that changes is a traditional use of time and space.