Monday, January 29, 2007

Ways that College Teachers and Students Use Technology

Here are the numbers that were included in the article mentioned in the previous post.

Educator-related activities:
- 78 percent of professors use email to supplement or supplant office hours
- 55 percent provide hyperlinks within their online syllabuses to provide more resources
- 54 percent post their handouts and/or slide presentations
- 42 percent have Web sites or similar tools available for individual courses

Student-course related activities:
- 77 percent research their school assignments online
- 74 percent check their grades online
- 51 percent complete their class assignments online
- 49 percent look up assignments from instructors

Other student activities:
- 90 percent send or receive email
- 68 percent check the weather forecast online
- 66 percent send or receive online instant messages
- 60 percent check out someone's online profile

Reporter: Eleanor Yang Su, San Diego Union-Tribune
Sources: Campus computing Project Survey, Dec. 2006, Student Monitor spring 2006 lifestyle and media study

Technology used by college students

I was in San Diego last weekend, and the Sunday paper had a front page article about educational technology and college students. It talks about the ways that today's college students are comfortable multi-tasking during class and elsewhere, and how professors are using technology to provide information and to keep students engaged. Students are online on their laptops - taking notes, IMing their friends, checking their MySpace profile, and sending text messages on their cell phones - all during class. Teachers are providing clickers for students to wirelessly submit answers to questions during class, with the results displayed instantaneously.

All this reinforces the importance of including technology skills as part of basic literacy. Adult education students who transition to higher ed will be lost without some of these skills. Teachers and students alike assume that students are online, and can do research, get and submit their assignments, communicate with the teacher, and check their grades online.

The article included some numbers that also raise questions for adult educators. These somehow didn't make it onto the web version, but the reporter was kind enough to email them to me.

78 % of professors use email to communicate with students. What percent of adult education teachers do this? And what percent of adult ed students? We will have more of an answer to questions like this after the student computer surveys that are part of the technology plans are submitted, but the last results I saw were that 40 percent of teachers communicate with students at least once in a while using email (78 precent for college teachers), and 10 percent maintain a class web page (42 percent for college classes). Actually, these adult ed numbers are pretty high compared to what one might expect, but we also have a long way to go.