The Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR) Study of Undergraduates and Information Technology, is a longitudinal study of students and information technology. The study focuses on what kinds of information technologies these students use, own, and experience; their technology behaviors, preferences, and skills; how IT impacts their experiences in their courses; and their perceptions of the role of IT in the academic experience.
The 2010 results are now available. It is based on 36,950 respondents from 127 academic institutions.
Some random key findings:
- 94% use their library web site for research; 1/3 several times a week or more
- 90% use presentation software and course or learning management systems
- 90% use texting or social networking for interactive communications; only 30% use them in courses
- 89% own a laptop or netbook
- 80% gave themselves 'high marks' on the skills in searching the Internet efficiently and effectively
- ~50% own mobile device; 43% of those use them daily for accessing information and/or email
- 40% use VoIP services, like Skype
- 36% use web-based productivity software
- ~33% are online more than 10 hours a week; the same percentage spends between 11-20%; 9% spend more than 40 hours
- 1.4 % use virtual worlds, like Second Life
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