Students’ Thoughts on Their Technology in the Classroom

In today’s classrooms, technology is a vital tool in making teaching and learning much more interactive, engaging, and empowering. Students use their mobile devices and computers to access the Internet, electronic resources, and other educational software/applications, resulting in an independent, student-driven learning environment.

For instructors and educators who are curious as to their effectiveness in using technology in their classrooms, the Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) recently released their latest version of its annual report, ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013, which describes and illustrates how students feel about the use of technology in their classrooms.

In an article written by Jason B. Jones, the Director of Educational Technology at Trinity College and a writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, he talks about how the ECAR report analyzes four main points about students’ impressions on technology use in the classroom:

  1. Many students, and people in general, own many different devices. These can be laptop computers and various mobile devices, but unfortunately students feel like they have very little incentive or freedom to utilize these devices while in the classroom.
  2. 2/3 of students say that their instructors “use technology effectively”, which is beneficial to students in many ways. For example, there is less time spent getting used to the technology, and more time spent teaching the coursework.
  3. 60% of students want to keep their academic and social lives separate. There is no additional information about student interest in the separation between social networking profiles and academic work, though.
  4. Students prefer that faculty members themselves provide instruction on how to use technology, rather than rely on the IT department or online resources. With this in mind, faculty members, in the future, should budget their class time to teach students about using technology in their classrooms.

In addition to ECAR’s report, here is an interesting infographic illustrating students’ values and uses of technology.

For more information about this report, click here for ECAR’s 2013 study. You can also click here for Jason B. Jones’ article about the report.